Thousands of fans turned out at Old Trafford to bid a final farewell to Manchester United great Sir Bobby Charlton.
The 1966 World Cup winner’s funeral cortege was welcomed with gentle applause as it drove past the stadium’s East Stand and the United Trinity statue, which features Charlton himself, George Best and Denis Law.
Representatives of the club’s under-18 and under-21 teams formed a guard of honour flanking the statue and, behind it, there were numerous black and white photographs depicting Charlton’s long and illustrious career as a player and then a director at the club.
High on the glass wall of the East Stand were two huge black and white photographs – one of Charlton in his Busby Babes playing days and the other of him as the club’s elder statesman as a director – flanking the words Sir Bobby Charlton, 1937-2023. Forever Loved.
The cortege made its way across the stadium apron, lined by crowds three or four deep in places, before making a right turn out of the complex to continue its three-mile journey to Manchester Cathedral in the city centre.
Among the invited guests at the funeral included the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, current first-teamers Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Jonny Evans and Tom Heaton and a host of former players – including some of Charlton’s old team-mates, England manager Gareth Southgate, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, Prince William, the Prince of Wales and Football Association president, and Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano.
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