RIP Sir Bobby Charlton

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our much-loved founder and friend, Sir Bobby Charlton CBE, at the age of 86. Sir Bobby sadly passed away on 21st October 2023. He will be both tremendously missed and lovingly remembered. Through his sporting vocation together with his far-reaching charitable works, Sir Bobby has touched the lives of millions around the world and will remain a true inspiration for future generations to come.

One of the greatest icons of world football, Sir Bobby began his career with his beloved Manchester United in 1953, making his club debut in 1956. Inextricably bonded to the club following the tragic Munich Air Disaster in 1958 in which so many of his team-mates perished, to this day Sir Bobby remains one of the club’s greatest ever players, scoring a remarkable 249 goals in 758 games. With Manchester United, he collected three League titles, an FA Cup, two Charity Shields and a European Cup.

On an international level, Sir Bobby played in four FIFA World Cups, most memorably in July 1966 as part of the team which brought England’s historic 4-2 victory against West Germany at Wembley and Sir Bobby the cherished Ballon d’Or as player of the tournament, one of just four English players to have ever won it. In all, Sir Bobby played 106 times for England, scoring 49 goals, a record which lasted 50 years until Wayne Rooney scored his 50th goal for his country in 2015.

Knighted in 1997, Sir Bobby is globally renowned for his prowess on the football pitch and as a selfless ambassador of the game. He is less well-known for his incredible contribution to charity, not least the establishment of The Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation over a decade ago, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping victims of conflict in war zones across the globe. Throughout his life, Sir Bobby was a steadfast advocate for the most vulnerable in society, supporting beneficiaries both at home and overseas through his kindness, care and unwavering strong values.

Through his work with the Foundation, Sir Bobby helped alleviate the suffering of those caught up in current conflicts as well as supported the longer-term development challenges of people living with the legacy of past wars. Away from the floodlights and packed stadiums, Sir Bobby was committed to using his global fame to draw attention to the plight of the disadvantaged and to give a voice to the voiceless.

The Board of Trustees and all the staff at the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation extend their sincere condolences to Sir Bobby’s family and our heartfelt gratitude for the selfless work Sir Bobby led in his lifetime to bring peace and hope to those less fortunate throughout the world. We consider it the greatest of honours to continue Sir Bobby’s legacy in the years to come. May he rest in peace.