15 of the best quotes on Sir Bobby Charlton: ‘He epitomised Man Utd’

The football world is mourning the death of Sir Bobby Charlton, who has passed away at the age of 86.

Charlton won three league titles, an FA Cup and the European Cup with Manchester United and was one of the greatest footballers ever produced in his country.

In a 17-year playing career, he scored 249 goals in 758 appearances for the Reds and also helped England win the World Cup in 1966.

We’ve taken a look at 15 of the best quotes on Charlton from some of the biggest names in the game.

Sir Alf Ramsey

“He was one of the greatest players I have seen, very much the linchpin of the 1966 team,” Ramsey said.

“Early in my management, I knew I had to find a role suitable to Bobby’s unique talents. He wasn’t just a great goalscorer, with a blistering shot using either foot. Bobby was a player who could also do his share of hard work.”

Sir Matt Busby

“There has never been a more popular footballer. He was as near perfection as man and player as it is possible to be,” Busby said.

George Best

“What a pleasure to play alongside,” Best told FourFourTwo. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody who could beat players as easily as him, myself included.

“I often used my pace, but Bobby made it look effortless. And once he got within 30 yards of the goal, he was lethal with either foot.

“Because he played a lot on the left, many people assume he was a natural left-footer, but I don’t think he was. He was just so good with both feet.”

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Denis Law

“The game is never easy but it becomes easier when you’ve got players like that,” Law told MUTV in 2016.

“Bobby had a bit of everything. He was a marvellous crosser of a ball and scored a tremendous amount of goals. He had a fantastic shot, it was so powerful.

“I knew if he was going to shoot there was a fair chance the goalkeeper wouldn’t be able to hold it, so I would follow up and invariably the guy would drop it.”

David Sadler

“You can’t go anywhere in the world without talking about Manchester (United) and Sir Bobby Charlton, they just go hand in hand,” Sadler said. “They were just made for one another, and he certainly upholds everything that is good about Manchester United.”

Lou Macari

“I played with him briefly toward the end of his United career, and he was just gobsmacking to witness,” Macari told FourFourTwo in 2008.

“He was 35 when I got to Old Trafford, and he was as fit and enthusiastic as a 25-year-old. He’d done so much, but his desire never faded – his work-rate kept him right at the top. He was still trying to improve.”

Matt Busby celebrates 1967 League Title

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Sir Geoff Hurst

“He was a naturally gifted player, and was two-footed as well, one of the most two-footed players you’ve ever seen,” Hurst said. “He could go either side, shoot with either foot.”

Terry Venables

“He had a grace, and a change of pace, and a strike of lightning. Both change of pace, and from his boots; the power in his shooting was immense,” Venables said.

Jimmy Greeves

“When he hammered one into the top corner from long range it was as if he were a man possessed, desperate to separate the leather casing from the bladder,” Greeves said.

“I made virtually all of my 57 England appearances alongside Bob and I can remember few greater competitors and few greater professionals. His fellow greats like Best and Moore did not lead blameless lives away from the game but Bob was dedicated to his craft.

“He’s history in the flesh is Bobby Charlton. He’s our greatest living football man.”

Sir Alex Ferguson

“I owe my life here to Bobby,” Ferguson said in 2016. “He always believed in me and, apart from being the greatest legend at this club and the greatest player, it’s been a wonderful pleasure to know you.

“My time at United has been laced with all these great moments, but none more so than my friendship with Bobby, and what he’s done for me.

“The great attribute of Bobby – and it’s a great example to anybody who has been successful – is how he’s kept his feet on the ground and retained his humility all his life.”

Franz Beckenbauer

“Bobby Charlton was known for his creativity. He was on the move for 90 minutes, and had the lungs of a horse,” Beckenbauer said.


“Charlton, as we all know, covered the whole pitch,” Eusebio told FourFourTwo. “Played on the left, on the right, in the middle. He never stopped running and he had a very powerful shot and scored a lot of great goals.

“I have many more good than bad memories from my career, but some of the bad memories come from when
I crossed paths with Bobby Charlton.

It was Bobby Charlton who spoiled my day in the World Cup semi-final of 1966 and later the European Cup final of ’68, but I’ve forgiven him and we are still good friends now. He’s a real English gentleman.”

Michel Platini

“Sir Bobby represents everything that is good about the game of football; fair play, respect, and true loyalty and he is a good example for future generations, both on and off the pitch,” Platini said in 2009.

Ryan Giggs

“I think he just epitomises Manchester United,” Giggs told MUTV in 2016. “He was one of the best players there’s ever been and he’s someone who is humble, approachable and who oozes class.

“He’s a great person to know and he’s someone who has inspired me and helped me throughout my career.”

David Beckham

“That’s how my career started at Manchester United. I went to [the Bobby Charlton soccer school] at 10 years old and went back there the year after and ended up winning the competition,” Beckham told the BBC in 2017.

“That was when Sir Bobby contacted Manchester United and said ‘maybe you should have a look out for this young kid’.

“So I owe everything to Sir Bobby because, if not, maybe I wouldn’t have had the chance of living my dream of playing for the club that I’d supported for so many years and the club my Dad supported.

“He has always been about being successful, but even more so about helping other people. That’s what’s so special about him – he’s respected on the field, but even more so off the field.”

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