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Sir Bobby Charlton farewell service to be held at Manchester Cathedral

by Alex Browne

Manchester United have announced that fans will have one more chance to say goodbye to club icon Sir Bobby Charlton.

The Manchester Evening News claims that there will be a memorial service on Monday 13th November at 2pm local time. The ceremony will take place at Manchester Cathedral.

One of England and Manchester United´s greatest players sadly passed away on the 21st of October at the age of 86.

“There has never been a more popular footballer” were the words of Sir Matt Busby when asked to describe the legendary Charlton according to a Sky News article. Sir Bobby would certainly have an eventful life.

The Englishman broke into the very talented Manchester United team of the 1950s and became known as one of the mythical Busby Babes. He went on to win the FA Youth Cup in 1956 after turning down the chance of an apprenticeship as an electrical engineer in 1954 to focus on football. The world of engineering may have been poorer, but the football world is eternally grateful.

Charlton would go on to face great adversity losing so many friends and colleagues in the Munich Air Disaster in 1958. The legendary midfielder was able to recover though and go on to win the 1966 World Cup with England and the 1968 European Cup with Manchester United.

He would also achieve great personal accolades, winning the player of the tournament at the World Cup in 1966, as well as the coveted Ballon d’Or in the same year.

Even after his playing career ended, he would continue to be associated with the club as he became a board member in 1984 after a brief stint in management elsewhere.

Now the time has come for one final farewell. Tributes have already been held at matches vs Copenhagen and Manchester City. Additionally, floral tributes have also been laid at the Trinity Statue, depicting the 60s icons of Booby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best outside of Old Trafford. A condolences book has also been signed by over 80,000 people both in an online and in person format.

According to the MEN article the procession will begin at the city´s cathedral and pass by Old Trafford to give supporters a final opportunity to pay their respects to a player dripped in United history and folklore. The Charlton family have also requested some privacy to organise their own private ceremony for the former midfielder.

The club have also stated that the memorabilia left at the Trinity Statue will be relocated to the club museum alongside those left at Sir Matt Busby’s own tributes in 1994. Furthermore, the plastic will be recycled while the flowers will be composted and used in the gardens at Carrington, the club’s training ground.

The ceremony will be a fitting tribute no doubt for who many consider to be one of England’s and United’s all-time greats. The footballing world may have gained in the 1950s, but it is certainly a poorer place now.

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