David Beckham admits 'I will be forever grateful' to Bobby Charlton

David Beckham admits ‘I will be forever grateful’ to Man United legend and ‘national hero’ Bobby Charlton – who the ex-Three Lions skipper reveals gave him ‘the opportunity to play’ for the Red Devils

  • Sir Bobby made 758 appearances for United and earned over 100 England caps 
  • Charlton enjoyed a record-breaking career with England and Manchester United
  • LIVE BLOG: Keep up-to-date with all the reaction to Charlton’s passing 

David Beckham has expressed his condolences following the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton, who died at the age of 86 on Saturday. 

Charlton, arguably the most distinguished player in English football history, has died aged 86 after a battle with dementia. 

Charlton had a distinguished career, playing 758 times for Manchester United before assuming a role as a club director for nearly four decades. 

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star, David Beckham shared a post to pen his condolences and fond memories of the footballing legend.   

In an Instagram post, Beckham shared a photo of the pair from Beckham’s childhood, thanking the man he was ‘named after’.


A post shared by David Beckham (@davidbeckham)

Bobby Charlton and David Beckham in the Royal Box in the 2014 Wimbledon Championships

Beckham shared a photo from Beckham’s childhood, thanking the man he was ‘named after’

David Beckham and Sir Bobby Charlton, who both have over 100 caps for England, pose on the pitch at half time during a presentation of a commemorative cap and medal during the International Friendly match between England and Belgium at Wembley Stadium on June 2

He wrote: ‘It all began with Sir Bobby. Sir Bobby was the reason I had the opportunity to play for Manchester United… 

‘I will be forever grateful to a man I was named after, someone I looked up to and was a hero to many around the world not just in Manchester and our country where he won the World Cup in 1966… 

‘A true gentleman, family man and truly a national hero… Today isn’t just a sad day for Manchester United & England it’s a sad day for football and everything that Sir Bobby represented.. 

‘Our thoughts go out to Lady Norma, there daughters and grandchildren x Rest in Peace Sir Bobby x

‘Today our hearts are heavy’ he added. 

Charlton enjoyed a phenomenal and record-breaking career with both England and Manchester United, which included winning both the World Cup and European Cup in the 1960s.

Beckham even revealed he was given the middle name Robert in honour of Sir Bobby Charlton. 

Assuming his directorship in 1984, Sir Bobby Charlton held the position when Manchester United signed a 14-year-old David Beckham in 1991. 

Beckham’s talent was initially recognised a few years prior when he gained prominence at the Bobby Charlton Soccer & Sports Academy. 

Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton during the Edwin van der Sar Testimonial match 

Charlton, arguably the most distinguished player in English football history, has died aged 86

Sir Bobby, who made 758 appearances for his club and earned 106 caps for his beloved country, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family this morning. 

He is survived by his wife Lady Norma, their two daughters Suzanne and Andrea and grandchildren.

Beckham’s recent documentary released on Netflix, Beckham, which explored his time at Manchester United, including his fondness of Charlton. 

His family confirmed his passing in a statement, indicating that the renowned Reds legend and World Cup champion passed away in the morning, surrounded by his loved ones. 

The statement read, ‘With deep sadness, we announce that Sir Bobby Charlton peacefully passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning, with his family by his side. 

‘The family extends their gratitude to all those involved in his care and to the numerous individuals who have shown their love and support. During this time, we kindly request that the family’s privacy is respected.’ 

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