Connect with us


Manchester United legends deliver emotional tributes during Sir Bobby Charlton’s funeral service



| Last Updated:


Various legends of Manchester United Football Club have provided emotional tributes as Sir Bobby Charlton’s funeral took place on 13 November.

Charlton died on 21 October 2023, aged 86, and many feel like a part of the Old Trafford club has left with him.

United’s greatest-ever player led the club to European glory in 1968 only 10 years after being one of the survivors of the Munich Air Disaster, where he lost teammates and friends to the tragedy.

Charlton went on to be a fantastic ambassador for the club and his legacy, both on and off the pitch, will live on for a long time.

Many of those associated with Manchester United were in attendance for his funeral service on Monday afternoon and some of those spoke with the media to explain what made Sir Bobby Charlton so special, on an emotional day.

William Balderston, Sir Bobby’s grandson delivered an emotional tribute, via Telegraph: “Not even once was there even a subtle brag about his achievements. He had a standard of modesty that everybody in the family strives to emulate.

“As his grandson, I’ve been inspired not so much by his greatness as by his goodness. He was a deeply private and humble man. But he would also happily step away from privacy to give others a wonderful experience. When my sister and I had been given sleighs one Christmas, he brushed snow off us to have a go himself, shooting down the hill at speeds I still can’t quite believe.

“He was a fantastic storyteller. He would entertain us for whole afternoons and never look on it as a chore. Both he and my grandmother have shown us what devotion truly means. Thank you for the stories, the laughter. And thank you for lifting us all up, to encourage us to follow our dreams, no matter how lofty they are. We are all so extraordinarily lucky to have had you.”

Sir Alex Ferguson, via Telegraph: “It was very sombre. A lovely tribute from his grandson. It’s not easy getting up to speak. He was a fantastic man. I am at United because of Bobby Charlton. From the day I came, he supported me 100 per cent, all the way in what I wanted to do in terms of youth. As I say, I’m only at Manchester United because of Bobby Charlton.”

Peter Schmeichel, via Sky Sports: “What he has taken part in creating is incredible. From surviving the Munich disaster, losing eight of his team-mates and so many others, and then taking part in the rebuild of the football club. 

“Within no time at all they were on top of Europe. He played a very big part of that as a director of the football club, his influence was incredible. He was more than [part of the fabric]. He was probably the most important person in Man United’s history.

“He came up with Sir Alex, the next manager. The way he supported him through the first difficult couple of years. He just knew he was the right person.  His footprint is there. It’s really sad, but I have chosen to see this as a beautiful day and I am very proud to have the opportunity to be here for this last day for Bobby Charlton.”

Michael Carrick, via Sky Sports: “[Sir Bobby Chalrton] is one of the greatest footballers this country has produced. It’s very mixed emotions today. There was a lot of celebration but it is also very sad. A lot of people know Sir Bobby for what he did as a footballer but for me, it is about him as a person. 

“It was inspirational to have some with the aura that he had. Just to be in his presence and to feel his support gave you so much confidence.”

Steve Bruce, via Sky Sports: “Arguably we are talking about the greatest English footballer we have ever had. Then of course as a man, he had class too. So when you have the mixture of the two you can understand why there are going to be thousands of people lining the streets.

“He made me feel at home [when I signed for Man United]. He would sit and come and have a tea with you. One simple thing he always said, ‘It’s a great club. Just enjoy it, enjoy the privilege of playing for this great football club.’

“He was humble and always offered his support.”