File photo dated 15-03-1965 of Manchester United player Bobby Charlton who has died aged 86, his family have announced. Issue date: Saturday October 21, 2023.

‘The greatest English footballer’: Social media reacts to the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton

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

Charlton won 106 caps for England and scored 49 international goals – records for his country at the time – and was a key member of the 1966 World Cup-winning squad, scoring three goals in the tournament. He later won the Ballon d’Or that year.

“[Charlton] was the engine of the England game,” said Franz Beckenbauer, who played against Charlton in the World Cup final for West Germany.

“In this game, I realised how difficult it is to follow him and to mark him because in my opinion, in 1966 in the World Cup, he was the best player in the world.”

During a 17-year first-team career with United, he won three league titles, a European Cup and an FA Cup, and is regarded as one of the club’s greatest-ever players.

United paid a fond tribute to Charlton, describing him as “one of the greatest and most beloved players in the history of our club”.

“Sir Bobby was a hero to millions, not just in Manchester, or the United Kingdom, but wherever football is played around the world,” the club said.

“He was admired as much for his sportsmanship and integrity as he was for his outstanding qualities as a footballer; Sir Bobby will always be remembered as a giant of the game.

“His unparalleled record of achievement, character and service will be forever etched in the history of Manchester United and English football and his legacy will live on through the life-changing work of the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation.

“The club’s heartfelt sympathies are with his wife Lady Norma, his daughters and grandchildren, and all who loved him.”

We’ve gathered together some of the most poignant reactions to the news on social media, ranging from former United and England players, to opposing clubs to recollections of supporters and celebrities.

Manchester United

Sir Geoff Hurst

Gary Neville

Gary Lineker

Rio Ferdinand

Henry Winter

Neil Warnock

John Terry

David de Gea




FC Barcelona

AC Milan

Andy Mitten

‘He’s my brother’

Danny Kelly

Training with Fergie’s team


That night in Barcelona

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