The soccer world is mourning the loss of one of its greatest. Sir Bobby Charlton has passed away at the age of 86.
He was one of the survivors of the Munich air disaster that wiped out half the team of the “Busby Babes”, the young Manchester United, from one moment to the next in 1958. While some of his teammates lost their lives young, Sir Bobby Charlton was allowed to enjoy a long one. Now he has passed away at the age of 86.
Charlton’s longtime club Manchester United, for whom he played between 1956 and 1973, announced the club legend’s death late Saturday afternoon. “He was a hero to millions. Not only in Manchester or the United Kingdom, but everywhere in the world where soccer is played,” announced the English record champions, with whom Charlton won the championship three times, the cup once and the much-awaited European Champions Cup in 1968.
His greatest year had already been 1966, when he led the English national team to its first and to this day only World Cup title at the World Cup in his own country. At the end of the year, the powerful shot-stopper was also awarded the prestigious Ballon d’Or.
The homegrown player played 758 competitive games for the Red Devils, scoring 249 goals as one of the best two-footed players in soccer history. He scored 49 goals in 106 international matches for the Three Lions. In Charlton, who was also awarded the Walther Bensemann Prize in 2011, England loses perhaps its greatest soccer player.