Sir Bobby Charlton is honoured ahead of Manchester United’s game with FC Copenhagen at Old Trafford as club pay emotional tribute to the legendary footballer
- Man United legend Sir Bobby Charlton passed away at the age of 86 on Saturday
- Sir Bobby made 758 appearances for United and also won 106 caps for England
- Follow Mail Sport’s new Man United WhatsApp channel for all the breaking news
Manchester United paid an emotional tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton at Old Trafford ahead of their game with FC Copenhagen.
Erik ten Hag’s side are facing the Danish outfit in the Champions League just three days after Sir Bobby – who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to ever grace the game – passed away at the age of 86 following a battle with dementia.
The gifted footballer was born in Ashington, Northumberland, on October 11 1937 and played an integral role in England’s 1966 World Cup glory.
He made 758 appearances for United while also earning 106 caps for his beloved country and has a stand named after him at Old Trafford.
And ahead of kick off, the club held a special pre-match tribute to Sir Bobby which ended with a minutes silence.
Man United paid an emotional tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton at Old Trafford on Tuesday night
Supporters paid their respects ahead of United’s Champions League tie with FC Copenhagen
Tributes from clubs all over the country have been laid outside of Old Trafford in recent days
Erik ten Hag led the tributes as he walked out from the tunnel behind a bagpipe player
He was joined on either side by former United goalkeeper Alex Stepney (right), who was a team-mate of Sir Bobby at the club, and youth team captain Dan Gore (left)
Ten Hag laid a wreath in the centre circle before he then moved it to the side of the pitch
The special tribute involved some United legends as the Old Trafford crowd joined in in paying their respects, while several supporters paid their respects outside the ground.
Erik ten Hag walked out from the tunnel behind a bagpipe player and placed a wreath on the pitch.
He was joined on either side by Alex Stepney, who was a team-mate of Sir Bobby, and youth team captain Dan Gore.
A wreath was also placed on Sir Bobby’s seat within the Director’s Box, while he was remembered on the front cover of the matchday programme.
Players and staff of both sides similarly wore black armbands in memory of the United legend, while Copenhagen supporters could be heard singing ‘One Bobby Charlton’ ahead of kick off in what was a nice touch.
It comes after Sir Bobby was also commemorated at United’s UEFA Youth League fixture on Tuesday afternoon before the Under 19 side lost 1-0 against their Copenhagen counterparts.
Meanwhile, both Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand paid tribute to the United legend when working pitchside for TNT Sports.
Both United’s and Copenhagen’s players observed a minutes silence in memory of Sir Bobby
A wreath was also placed on Sir Bobby’s seat (number 122) within the Director’s Box
Sir Bobby’s seat was left empty and the wreath could be seen from afar at Old Trafford
Copenhagen fans could be heard singing ‘One Bobby Charlton’ and also unfurled a banner
Ten Hag said they would use Sir Bobby as inspiration in the clash against Copenhagen
Ferdinand said: ‘He was just a fantastic human being first and foremost. A wonderful football player but the way that he carried himself as a human being was the thing that stood out for me above everything.
‘The football club ran through his veins. He just loved this football club like not many I’ve ever seen before.’
Scholes added: ‘He was a wonderful, wonderful man. It was sad day when we found out the news but I think if you look at all the tributes around the world – the first player that comes to your mind when you think about Man United is Sir Bobby Charlton.
‘To go through what he went through with the tragedy of Munich and then to go on to win the European Cup and the World Cup – it’s just a really sad evening tonight and let’s just hope we get through it.’
United’s Women’s side also remembered Sir Bobby at their WSL fixture on Sunday when they faced Everton, with a minute’s silence observed, while the players also wore black armbands.
Meanwhile, United manager Ten Hag and his squad wrote personal messages in memory of Charlton at their Carrington training ground, which will be added to a book of condolence that has been opened at Old Trafford.
More than a thousand fans signed the book within a day of his death being announced as supporters have flocked to Old Trafford to pay their respects.
Speaking ahead of their clash with Copenhagen, Ten Hag said United would look to seek inspiration from the club’s Holy Trinity of George Best, Denis Law and Sir Bobby.
‘He (Sir Bobby) is in front of Old Trafford with Denis Law and George Best,’ said Ten Hag.
‘He is always with us. They are always a huge inspiration for us every day and every game.’
The Dutchman also paid a heartfelt tribute to Sir Bobby as he added: ‘Bobby was a legend, a giant, not only for Manchester United but for football.
‘So his legacy, the high standards, we have to live every day. What he meant for Manchester United, and the standards he set, they were emphasised in the last couple of days.
Several United supporters paid their respects to Sir Bobby in the build-up to the game
The famous statue of Sir Bobby – who made 758 appearances for United – outside Old Trafford
United’s squad also wrote personal messages in memory of Sir Bobby at their training ground
United’s Women’s side remembered Sir Bobby at their WSL fixture against Everton on Sunday
‘First, we want to win as a tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton, but also you want always to do that in a certain way, and that is what we are aiming for.
‘It is not always possible in football. You don’t always play that well but you have to find a way to win.’
At United’s Premier League game against Man City at Old Trafford on Sunday, United will celebrate the life of Sir Bobby with a minute’s applause and expressions of fan remembrance with flags and surfer banners in the stadium.
He is survived by his wife Lady Norma, their two daughters Suzanne and Andrea and grandchildren.
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