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‘A hero to many’: David Beckham, Wayne Rooney lead wave of tributes to Bobby Charlton

An image of late English soccer legend Bobby Charlton is displayed on a large display through the English Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal. AP

England World Cup winner Geoff Hurst and former Manchester United star David Beckham led the tributes to Bobby Charlton, who died on Saturday at the age of 86.

Hurst, who scored a hat-trick within the 1966 closing for England in opposition to West Germany after Charlton had scored essential objectives on the best way to the ultimate, described him as “a great colleague and friend”.

“Very sad news today, (one) of the true Greats Sir Bobby Charlton has passed away,” Hurst wrote on X, previously Twitter.

“We’ll always remember him & nor will all of soccer.

“A great colleague & friend he will be sorely missed by all of the country beyond sport alone.”

Beckham stated Charlton had had an enormous affect on his profession — and his Manchester United-loving father had named him after him.

“It all began with Sir Bobby. Sir Bobby was the reason I had the opportunity to play for Manchester United,” Beckham posted on Instagram.

“I might be eternally grateful to a person I used to be named after, somebody I regarded as much as and was a hero to many all over the world not simply in Manchester and our nation the place he gained the World Cup in 1966.

“A true gentleman, family man and truly a national hero… Today isn’t just a sad day for Manchester United & England it’s a sad day for football and everything that Sir Bobby represented.”

Wayne Rooney, who overtook Charlton as United’s main scorer, stated he was “still in shock” on the dying.

“Sir Bobby was always great with me. We had conversations not just about football but about life,” stated Rooney, who has simply returned to English soccer as Birmingham Metropolis supervisor.

“He’s a huge loss to football and a huge loss to his family, more importantly. He’ll be greatly missed.”

Former England ahead Gary Lineker described Charlton as “England’s greatest ever player”.

“Deeply saddened to hear that Sir Bobby Charlton has died,” Lineker stated on X.

“A truly wonderful footballer and genuinely lovely man. A World Cup winner, (Manchester United) great and, for me, England’s greatest ever player.”

Gary Neville, the previous Manchester United captain, stated on social media Charlton was “the Greatest English Football player and Manchester United’s greatest ambassador” .

“A champion on and off the pitch and a Busby Babe that paved the way for all to come at United.”

‘Mr Manchester United’ 

For former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, Charlton was “Mr Manchester United” — and recalled they’d exchanged phrases when United gained the European Cup for the third time in 2008.

“Icon, Legend, Great! these words are thrown around by all of us to many who 100% don’t deserve them, especially when you compare them to man of Sir Bobby’s calibre,” Ferdinand stated on X.

“What a real gentleman of not many phrases, however when he spoke you stood nonetheless, stopped what you had been doing and listened.

“A variety of the historical past was residing and respiration by him and he was a relentless on the membership whereas I used to be there — travelling with us everywhere in the world.

“The phrases he shared with me on the backside of these stairs in Moscow, earlier than I went as much as elevate the CL trophy will stick with me eternally.

“It was a privilege for me to even get that moment with him at that specific time.”

United nice Eric Cantona posted on Instagram: “Rest in Peace dear Sir Bobby Charlton. One of the best of all time.”

Present Manchester United midfielder Casemiro stated on X: “Lifting the European Cup of 1968 with Purple Devils was an absolute milestone for the legendary historical past of our membership.

“Rest In Peace Sir Bobby Charlton.”

Manchester Metropolis supervisor Pep Guardiola stated Charlton was “a big legend” who had paved the best way for future generations.

Tributes to Charlton got here from overseas as properly.

Bayern Munich board member Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stated: “He was a great person and a true gentleman who FC Bayern valued very much.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the meantime stated Charlton “has a place in history as one of the game’s greatest players and was hugely loved.”

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