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Bobby Charlton

Bobby Charlton
Personal information
Full nameSir Robert Charlton CBE
Height5 ft 8 in
Playing positionMidfielder

     Home | Football Player | Bobby Charlton

Sir Robert "Bobby" Charlton CBE (born 11 October 1937 in Ashington, Northumberland) is an English former professional football player, a member of the England team who won the World Cup and European Footballer of the Year 1966. He played almost all of his club football at Manchester United, where he became renowned for his attacking instincts from midfield and his ferocious long-range shot.

His former team-mate at United, Johnny Giles, in his new autobiography, titled 'A Football Man', describes Charlton as "the greatest player I ever played with or against". His elder brother Jack, who was also in the World Cup-winning team, is an ex-defender for Leeds United and coach.

He began to play for Manchester United's first team in 1956, and over the next two seasons gained a regular place in the team, during which time he survived the Munich air disaster of 1958. After helping United to win the Football League in 1965, he won a World Cup medal with England in 1966 and another Football League title with United the following year. In 1968, he captained the Manchester United team that won the European Cup, scoring two goals in the final to help his team be the first English side to win the competition. He has scored more goals for England and United than any other player. Charlton held the record for most appearances for Manchester United (758), but this was surpassed by Ryan Giggs on 21 May 2008 (the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final). Charlton also held the club record for most league appearances (606) until this too was overtaken by Ryan Giggs on 6 March 2011.

In January 2011 Charlton was voted the 4th greatest Manchester United player of all time by the readers of Inside United and, behind Ryan Giggs (who topped the poll), Eric Cantona and George Best.

At the time of his retirement from the England team in 1970, he was the nation's most capped player, having turned out 106 times at the highest level. This record has since been eclipsed by Bobby Moore, Peter Shilton and then David Beckham.

He left Manchester United to become manager of Preston North End for the 1973 74 season. He changed to player-manager the following season, but early in the 1975 76 season left them after having decided management was not for him. He next accepted a post as a director with Wigan Athletic, then became a member of Manchester United's board of directors in 1984 and remains one as of June 2011. He set goalscoring records for both the England team and Manchester United, with both records remaining intact some 35 years after the end of his playing career. He was knighted in 1994.

Sir Bobby Charlton is a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy.

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