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Sir Bobby Charlton: Emotional scenes as Old Trafford honours Manchester United icon

Manchester United and FC Copenhagen players take part in a minute's silence in honour of Sir Bobby Charlton
Manchester United and FC Copenhagen players take part in a minute’s silence in honour of Sir Bobby Charlton

Manchester United’s players wore black armbands while there was a minute’s silence before the Champions League game with FC Copenhagen at Old Trafford in honour of legend Sir Bobby Charlton.

On an emotional night, a wreath was placed on Sir Bobby’s seat in the directors’ box as United played at home for the first time since his passing.

United boss Erik ten Hag, led by a lone piper, laid a wreath on the pitch.

Charlton was also remembered on the cover the match programme.

Before kick-off, two black and white images of the England 1966 World Cup winner looked down from the glass fronted main entrance at Old Trafford next to the words ‘Sir Bobby Charlton 1937-2023 Forever Loved’.

Many United fans, who were advised to arrive early for 20:00 BST kick-off, laid floral tributes outside the ground.

Inside Old Trafford the stadium announcer urged supporters to take their seats well before kick-off as there would be a pre-match tribute to “one of the greatest players there has ever been”.

A banner read “Sir Bobby. Born in Ashington. Made in Manchester”, while fans chanted “One Bobby Charlton”.

Ten Hag walked onto the pitch with Alex Stepney, a former team-mate of Sir Bobby’s, and Under-21 captain Dan Gore, before laying a wreath and taking part in a minute’s silence.

Sir Bobby played alongside elder brother Jack against West Germany at Wembley in 1966 as one of only 11 England players to win the World Cup, and also captained Manchester United to the game’s major honours, including the European Cup in 1968.

The European Cup win, with Sir Bobby scoring twice in a 4-1 win against Benfica at Wembley, carried great poignancy and emotion because he was a survivor of the Munich air disaster on 6 February 1958 which killed 23 people, including eight players and three members of the club’s staff.

Ten Hag said before the game that his players wanted to “fulfil Sir Bobby’s legacy”.

Speaking to TNT Sports, he added: “It is very emotional. Let’s find inspiration.”

A tribute in memory of Sir Bobby Charlton is displayed on the outside of the main entrance at Old Trafford
A tribute for Sir Bobby Charlton on the glass fronted entrance at Old Trafford on Tuesday
Fans gathered outside Old Trafford hours before kick-off to pay their respects to Sir Bobby Charlton
Fans gathered outside Old Trafford hours before kick-off to pay their respects to Sir Bobby Charlton
Scarves and flowers outside Old Trafford before Manchester United's first home game since the passing of club legend Sir Bobby Charlton
Scarves and flowers outside Old Trafford before Manchester United’s first home game since the passing of club legend Sir Bobby Charlton
The match programme for the Champions League group game between Manchester United and FC Copenhagen featuring Sir Bobby Charlton on the cover
Tuesday’s match programme featured Sir Bobby on the front cover

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