Gary Neville pays tribute to ‘English football’s greatest player’ after the tragic passing of Manchester United icon Sir Bobby Charlton, aged 86
- Gary Neville pays his tribute to Manchester United icon Sir Bobby Charlton
- The England legend passed away aged 86 after tragically battling dementia
- See MailOnline’s liveblog for all the latest news on Sir Bobby’s sad death
Gary Neville has paid tribute to Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton after the tragic death of the football icon.
Charlton lost his battle with dementia and passed away peacefully surrounded by his family this morning, aged 86. He is survived by his wife Lady Norma, their two daughters Suzanne and Andrea and grandchildren.
He is widely regarded as one of English football’s greatest ever players, making 758 appearances for his club and winning 106 caps for his country, including being a key member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team.
Speaking ahead of United’s clash with Sheffield United, Neville paid his own tribute to who he regards as English football’s best-ever.
‘An icon, a legend, and it’s obviously a great loss today but there’s no doubt that he is English football’s greatest player.’ Neville expressed.
Gary Neville spoke about Sir Bobby Charlton ahead of Man Utd’s game against Sheffield Utd
United legend Sir Bobby Charlton sadly passed away on Saturday morning aged 86
Neville called Sir Bobby Charlton England’s greatest-ever player after his sad passing today
‘English football’s greatest ambassador, more importantly a champion on the pitch and off the pitch and as you say so inextricably linked with Manchester United.’
Charlton famously survived the Munich air disaster in 1958, when he was just 20 years old and saw eight of his team-mates tragically killed in the incident.
Neville recalls being reminded of Charlton’s importance when he was a player at the club, and how he has always embodied the ethos of Manchester United.
Adding: ‘Those European Cup winners were brought in to the club to remind us of the club’s history and the likes of Duncan Edwards and all those lads that died in the air crash. Obviously Sir Bobby surviving you know it was in sort of instilled in you every single day how important it was when you think of the Manchester United.
‘Sir Bobby Charlton and those traditions and standards and everything that is good about Manchester United I think you couldn’t have anybody better than Sir Bobby Charlton to represent that’
In a glittering 17-year spell with United he won three league titles, the FA Cup and captained the Red Devils when they became the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968.
Charlton was part of England’s World Cup winning side of 1966 and is one the game’s greats
Sir Bobby has been part of United’s board and an ambassador since retiring from the game
He scored 249 goals for the club, two of which came in that famous European Cup win over Benfica, and was United’s record goal-scorer until Wayne Rooney overtook him in 2017.
After retiring Charlton briefly managed Preston North End before returning to the board at Old Trafford in the mid-eighties and remained at the club ever since. And Neville believes there hasn’t been a better ambassador for the Red Devils than the footballing legend.
‘I did a few appearances as Manchester United ambassador whilst I was at the club and after I left the club and he was the greatest ambassador.’ Neville finished by saying.
‘The way in which he spoke about the club was incredible and he was the golden thread through from Sir Matt Busby to Sir Alex Ferguson, two golden eras in obviously Manchester United’s history and he was the constant through both of them.’
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