Goodbye Sir Bobby: Manchester unites to honour old-fashioned sort of hero

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Even as Storm Debi battered Manchester, thousands turned out to line the route as the cortege wound past Old Trafford

“He was internationally famous …” the Reverend Grace Thomas said, “but he was most at home with his family.” The head of the Manchester United Foundation John Shiels and the former United chief executive David Gill, who delivered eulogies, both made reference to his intense privacy. And that perhaps was the most striking aspect of the memorial service for Sir Bobby Charlton at Manchester Cathedral on Monday: he would have hated it, but he would have gone through with it because he recognised he had a responsibility to do so.

This was the public event; the family service will be held on Tuesday. The Football Association was represented by Prince William, Manchester United by a host of players, former players and managers and the wider football world by the likes of the Uefa president, Aleksander Ceferin, the England manager, Gareth Southgate, and the Manchester City chief executive, Ferran Soriano. It said much about Charlton’s international resonance that Real Madrid sent their former striker Emilio Butragueño, while a service was held in Charlton’s memory in Accra, the capital of Ghana.

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Written by Jonathan Wilson
This news first appeared on under the title “Goodbye Sir Bobby: Manchester unites to honour old-fashioned sort of hero”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.