Sir Bobby Charlton is a name that resonates with football lovers across the world. His contribution to the sport, especially during his time with Manchester United and the England national team, has etched his name into the annals of footballing history.
As the legendary footballer died at the age of 86, we want to remind facts from his career.
Well-Known Facts from Sir Bobby Charlton Career
Here are ten noteworthy facts from Sir Bobby Charlton’s illustrious career.
Manchester United’s Mainstay
Sir Bobby Charlton made 758 appearances for Manchester United between 1956 and 1973. During this period, he became the club’s all-time top scorer, a record he held until 2017.
1966 World Cup Winner
One of Charlton’s most memorable achievements was helping England secure its only FIFA World Cup title in 1966. He played a pivotal role in the team’s victory and scored twice in the semi-final against Portugal.
Ballon d’Or Laureate
In recognition of his stellar performances, Sir Bobby Charlton was awarded the Ballon d’Or in 1966. This award is given annually to the best football player in the world.
Survivor of the Munich Air Disaster
Charlton was one of the survivors of the tragic Munich air disaster in 1958, which claimed the lives of eight of his Manchester United teammates. His recovery and subsequent return to football is a testament to his resilience and determination.
A Record England Goal Scorer
For almost 50 years, Charlton held the record for the most goals scored for the England national team, finding the net 49 times. This record stood until 2015.
In 1974, Sir Bobby Charlton was named the English Footballer of the Year. Furthermore, in 2008, he received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.
In recognition of his immense contribution to Manchester United, the club named a stand after him in 2016. The “Sir Bobby Charlton Stand” at Old Trafford is a testament to his legendary status.
Transition to Management
After retiring as a player, Charlton took on managerial roles, notably serving as the manager of Preston North End and briefly as caretaker manager for Wigan Athletic.
Apart from his on-field exploits, Charlton has been an ambassador for the sport. He played a key role in England’s bids to host the World Cup in 2006 and 2018.
In 1994, in recognition of his services to football, Bobby Charlton was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, becoming Sir Bobby Charlton.
Less-Known Facts from Sir Bobby Charlton Career
While Sir Bobby Charlton’s main achievements are well-documented, here are ten lesser-known facts from his remarkable career:
Sir Bobby Charlton was spotted by Manchester United scout Joe Armstrong when he was playing for East Northumberland schools.
Although best known as a midfielder or forward, Charlton occasionally played as a goalkeeper during his school days.
Other Sport Talents
Charlton was not only skilled in football; he was also a competent cricketer during his youth and had the potential to pursue a professional career in the sport.
The Youngest Red Devil
At 19 years and 54 days old, Charlton was the youngest player in the Busby Babes side that won the league title in the 1956-57 season.
Early International Goal
On his England debut, he scored, but it was overshadowed as the game, against Scotland in 1958, ended in a 4-0 defeat.
Record in USA
While playing for Manchester United in a friendly game against Los Angeles Wolves during a U.S. tour in 1960, Charlton netted a hat-trick in just over 10 minutes.
In 1972, a testimonial match was played in Charlton’s honor between Manchester United and a combined team of Celtic and Scotland players, celebrating his 17-year-long career at United.
Behind the Scenes
Charlton was one of the key figures behind Manchester United’s decision to appoint Alex Ferguson as manager in 1986. His influence was pivotal in one of the most defining moments in the club’s history.
Post-retirement, Charlton has been involved in numerous charitable initiatives. Notably, he’s a director of ‘Find A Better Way’, a charity focused on improving the lives of landmine blast survivors.
Beyond football, Charlton penned his autobiography titled “My Manchester United Years” in 2007, providing insights into his storied career and the evolution of football during his era.
While many celebrate Sir Bobby Charlton for the well-known milestones of his career, these lesser-known facts add depth to the portrait of a truly multifaceted legend of the game.