Bobby Charlton Biography

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Name Sir Bobby Charlton (Attacking Midfielder Forward)
Born On 11th October, 1937
Played For Clubs: Manchester United
Team England National Football Team
World Cup Played Played 1958 World Cup
Played 1962 World Cup
Played 1966 World Cup
Played 1970 World Cup


Guess who is one of the greatest mid-fielders of all time and the only footballer from England to participate in four world cups? Yes, we are talking about Sir Bobby Charlton who was part of the English team which won the world cup in 1966. He led his team Manchester United to win the European Cup of 1968. One of the most capped players for England, Sir Bobby Charlton still holds a prominent position in the history of Manchester United.



Bobby Charlton was born in Ashington, Northumberland, England on October 11, 1937. He comes from a family of soccer players from his mother’s side where his three maternal uncles played for Leeds United Club and his mother’s cousin, the legendary footballer, Jackie Milburn played for Newcastle United. Despite coming from the background of a soccer family, the credit for the early football career development of Charlton is mainly attributed to his mother Cissie and grandfather Tanner. His mother was the first to recognize his talent for soccer but she also wanted him to learn trading.

As sport was in his blood, he started playing at a young age and once he was playing for East Northumberland schools, he was spotted by Joe Armstrong, Manchester United’s chief scout. Armstrong struggled to sign him but Charlton’s mother was reluctant initially as she thought it was an insecure career, but later on Charlton became a professional footballer in 1954 after serving apprenticeship as an electrical engineer. He then began playing under Matt Busby, who was then the manager of Manchester United as well as the former Scottish football player. He advised him to apply for the Royal Army Ordinance Corps to serve the nation. He followed his manager’s advice and began to develop his football career and at the same time served the nation.

He became a professional and established footballer by 1958, the same year in which he survived the tragic Munich air disaster after being rescued by one of his team mates Harry Gregg. The same year he participated in his first World Cup and started the next phase of his international career. He then went on to play four World Cups consecutively from 1958-1970. He also led his team to win the European Cup title in 1968. Bobby Charlton retired as a football player and started his management and directorship career in 1973. He became the manager of Preston North End and left the club two years later. He then joined Wigan Athletic as a director in 1983 but gained little success in this role. Later on he was invited to become the member of Manchester United Board of Directors in 1984 and continues to hold the position till today.


Sir Bobby Charlton played most of his club football for Manchester United. He was popular because of his attacking style in the midfield, quick passing abilities and aggressive long-range shots. He was also well-known for his stamina and fitness. At the time of his retirement in 1970, he was the most capped player in the history of English football, having turned out 106 caps, a record which was held for a long time. He wass beside Ryan Giggs for most of the appearances for Manchester United. He has won the Football League First Division title three times, FA Cup once, FA Youth Cup thrice and Charity Shield four times under Manchester United. Besides being part of the winning side in the 1966 World Cup, he also won Ballon d’Or the same year. In 1968, he scored two goals in the European Cup finals to help his team win the title for the first time.

In his life time career, he has won several accolades both individually and as a member of the team. On the national front, he has won the British Home Championship ten times and a Bronze medal in UEFA Euro 1968. On the individual level, he was awarded the World Cup Golden Ball once (1966), placed 14th at UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll, FWA Footballer of the Year 1965-66, FWA Tribute Award in 1989, bestowed with PFA Merit Award in 1974 and secured his place in the Football League 100 Legends. He was also honored with the BBC Sport Personality of the Year Life Achievement Award in 2008 and inducted in the English Football Hall of Fame in the year 2002 besides receiving several other special honors.


Bobby Charlton married Norma Ball in 1961 and they have two daughters Suzanne and Andrea. He has also an autobiography named My Manchester United Years in which he has described his experience under the English club. He is also involved in various charitable and fund-raising activities. He raised funds for cancer hospitals and supports the Mines Advisory Group and his own charity fund Find the Better Way which researches into improved civilian landmine clearance. He is also a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy and was also given freedom of the city of Manchester at the age of 71.


The living soccer legend has truly inspired millions of footballers around the world with his immense experience and would be remembered as one of the greatest footballers of all time and unquestionably one of England’s finest players.

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