SIR GEOFF HURST led the tributes for Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton, who has died aged 86.
The 1966 World Cup winner passed away after a brave battle against dementia for the past three years.
Tributes have been paid to Sir Bobby Charlton following his death aged 86.
Sir Geoff Hurst, now the last survivor of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team, led the tributes.
Sir Bobby was hailed by Gary Lineker as the greatest-ever English footballer.
Hurst, now the last surviving member of the 1966 World Cup-winning team, led the way with an emotional tribute.
He tweeted: “Very sad news today 1 of the true Greats Sir Bobby Charlton has passed away. We will never forget him & nor will all of football
“A great colleague & friend he will be sorely missed by all of the country beyond sport alone. Condolences to his family & friends from Geoff and Judith.”
Gary Lineker hailed Sir Bobby as the greatest English footballer in history.
He tweeted: “Deeply saddened to hear that Sir Bobby Charlton has died. A truly wonderful footballer and genuinely lovely man.
“A World Cup winner, Man Utd great and, for me, England’s greatest ever player. He may no longer be with us but he’ll have footballing immortality. RIP Sir Bobby.”
United icon Gary Neville wrote: “So sorry to hear the news of Sir Bobby Charlton.
“The Greatest English Football player and Manchester United’s greatest ambassador.
Bobby Charlton scored twice in England’s 1966 World Cup final win over West Germany.
“A champion on and off the pitch and a Busby Babe that paved the way for all to come at United. Rest In Peace Sir Bobby.”
England football’s Twitter account said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have learned of the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton.
“An integral part of our 1966 FIFA World Cup winning campaign, Sir Bobby won 106 caps and scored 49 times for the Three Lions.
“A true legend of our game. We will never forget you, Sir Bobby.”
Former England and Chelsea captain John Terry said: “RIP Sir Bobby Charlton Heartbreaking news.
“A True great and a wonderful man. My condolences are with the Charlton family at this terribly sad time. LEGEND.”
TalkTV host Piers Morgan said: “RIP Sir Bobby Charlton. Survived the Munich air disaster to become England’s most iconic footballer.
“Won the World Cup. Won the European Cup. Won the Ballon d’Or.
“Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the game he loved. A legend and a gentleman.”
talkSPORT presenter Jamie O’Hara said: “RIP to a football icon Sir Bobby Charlton.”
A message from Uefa read: “On behalf of the entire European football community, we are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the game’s true greats. Rest in peace, Sir Bobby.”
The Premier League tweeted: “The Premier League is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the greatest players in English football history.
Sir Bobby is one of United’s most legendary players.
Sir Bobby remained involved at United long after his retirement.
“Our thoughts and sincere condolences go to Sir Bobby’s family and friends, and to all at Manchester United.”
United’s rivals Arsenal said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton.
“Our thoughts are with Sir Bobby’s family, friends and everyone connected with Manchester United at this time. May he rest in peace.”
Chelsea noted: “Everyone at Chelsea Football Club is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of his family, friends and those at Manchester United at this difficult time.”
A statement from Sir Bobby’s family on Saturday afternoon confirmed his passing.
It read: “It is with great sadness that we share the news that Sir Bobby passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning.
“He was surrounded by his family. His family would like to pass on their thanks to everyone who has contributed to his care and for the many people who have loved and supported him.
“We would request that the family’s privacy be respected at this time.”
Former club United paid with an emotional statement ahead of tonight’s Premier League game at Sheffield United.
It said: “Manchester United are in mourning following the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the greatest and most beloved players in the history of our club.
“Sir Bobby was a hero to millions, not just in Manchester, or the United Kingdom, but wherever football is played around the world.
Sir Bobby was a survivor of the 1958 Munich air disaster.
Sir Bobby’s achievements will never be forgotten by England and Man Utd fans.
“He was admired as much for his sportsmanship and integrity as he was for his outstanding qualities as a footballer; Sir Bobby will always be remembered as a giant of the game.
“A graduate of our youth Academy, Sir Bobby played 758 games and scored 249 goals during 17 years as a Manchester United player, winning the European Cup, three league titles and the FA Cup.
“For England, he won 106 caps and scored 49 goals for England, and won the 1966 World Cup. Following his retirement, he went on to serve the club with distinction as a director for 39 years.
“His unparalleled record of achievement, character and service will be forever etched in the history of Manchester United and English football; and his legacy will live on through the life-changing work of the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation.
“The club’s heartfelt sympathies are with his wife Lady Norma, his daughters and grandchildren, and all who loved him.”
Sir Bobby, whose brother Jack died in 2020, made his name at United where he won three league titles, an FA Cup and the club’s first European cup.
He helped lift the club from the ashes following the devastation of the Munich air disaster, which killed eight of his team-mates. Sir Bobby survived the crash.
Along with George Best and Denis Law, he was part of the Busby Babes side that famously lifted the European Cup at Wembley in 1968, captaining the side to a 4-1 win over Benfica.
He played 479 games in red, with 150 goals and was remembered by the club he so proudly represented.
Charlton served served as a member of United’s board of directors and even had the South Stand of Old Trafford named after him.
As an England star, he scored twice in the Three Lions’ 4-2 World Cup triumph over West Germany in 1966 and retired with 106 caps and 49 goals.
After leaving United in 1973, Charlton moved to Preston for a year before taking his career on the road, playing in Ireland and Australia.
Charlton was knighted in 1994 for his services to English football and remains one of our most influential players.