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Bobby Charlton

English forward who became revered in his homeland and lionized across the footballing world.  Born in Ashington on October 11th 1937, younger brother of future Leeds United and England legend Jack, he was a relative of the famous Milburn footballing family (through his mother) and  was encouraged by his mother who coached him herself in a local park.  He was finally seen by a Manchester United scout who could not conceal his enthusiasm: 'I don't want to butter you up, Missis, but your boy will play for England before he's twenty-one'.  The word about this prodigious talent soon got out and Mrs Charlton found herself besieged by scouts from no fewer than eighteen different clubs.

Bobby was, however, to spend his entire playing career with Manchester United, for whom he signed in 1954.  He won a League Championship medal in 1957 and had already attracted much attention as one of the most gifted of the Busby Babes when he was injured in the Munich Air Crash in 1958.

That same year, however, he made his debut for England, winning the first of his 106 caps.  In 1963 he played a major role in Manchester United's FA Cup triumph, as he also did in the club's two League Championship victories in 1965 and 1967.

On the international stage he enjoyed his finest hours in 1966 as a key player in England's World Cup success and in 1968 he captained Manchester United to glory in the European Cup; he was also voted European Footballer of the Year in 1966. 

George Best said of Charlton: "I've never seen anyone go past players as easily as he did." "There has never been a more popular footballer," Sir Matt Busby once declared. "He was as near perfection as man and player as it is possible to be."

After retirement he served as manager of Preston North End and Wigan before joining Manchester United as a member of the board.

See some of Bobby Charlton's finest moments: