Bobby Charlton, an England World Cup winner and one of Manchester United’s greatest players, died on Saturday at the age of 86, the Premier League club said in a statement.
Charlton was a key figure in England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team and played 758 games for United, scoring 249 goals.
“Manchester United are in mourning following the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the greatest and most beloved players in the history of our club,” the club said.
“Sir Bobby was a hero to millions, not just in Manchester, or the United Kingdom, but wherever football is played around the world.”
Charlton spent 17 years at Old Trafford and was part of the “Busby Babes” team that was decimated by the 1958 Munich air crash. He won the European Cup and three English league titles as well as the FA Cup.
Regarded as possessing one of the hardest shots of his generation, Charlton earned 106 caps for England and scored 49 goals.
Charlton’s family said he “passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning”.
His death means the only surviving member of the England team who beat West Germany 4-2 at Wembley in 1966 is hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst who led the tributes on Saturday.
“Very sad news today. One of the true Greats Sir Bobby Charlton has passed away,” Hurst said on X.
“We will never forget him and nor will all of football. A great colleague and friend, he will be sorely missed by all of the country beyond sport alone. Condolences to his family and friends.”