“I played with him briefly toward the end of his United career, and he was just gobsmacking to witness. He was 35 when I got to Old Trafford, and he was as fit and enthusiastic as a 25-year-old. He’d done so much, but his desire never faded – his work-rate kept him right at the top. He was still trying to improve.”
– Lou Macari
“You can’t go anywhere in the world without talking about Manchester (United) and Sir Bobby Charlton, they just go hand in hand. They were just made for one another, and he certainly upholds everything that is good about Manchester United.”
– David Sadler
“There has never been a more popular footballer. He was as near perfection as man and player as it is possible to be.”
– Sir Matt Busby
“Bobby Charlton was known for his creativity. He was on the move for 90 minutes, and had the lungs of a horse.”
– Franz Beckenbauer
“Charlton, as we all know, covered the whole pitch. Played on the left, on the right, in the middle. He never stopped running and he had a very powerful
shot and scored a lot of great goals.
I have many more good than bad memories from my career, but some
of the bad memories come from when
I crossed paths with Bobby Charlton.
It was Bobby Charlton who spoiled
my day in the World Cup semi-final of 1966 and later the European Cup final
of ’68, but I’ve forgiven him and we
are still good friends now. He’s a real English gentleman.”
“He had a grace, and a change of pace, and a strike of lightning. Both change of pace, and from his boots; the power in his shooting was immense.”
– Terry Venables
“He was a beautiful player, and a lovely striker of the ball; 30 yarders into the roof of the net – I couldn’t even reach the goal from 18 yards!”
– Denis Law
“If he was in the center of the field and coming through, and if he was 30 yards from goal, I knew that he was going to have a shot. And I knew that if he got it on target, and the goalkeeper saved it, the chances of him holding it cleanly was very rare. Therefore, as soon as I saw him line up for a shot, I would be in on the goalkeeper. So I got a lot of my goals from Bobby, really.”
– Denis Law
“The game is never easy but it becomes easier when you’ve got players like that. Bobby had a bit of everything. He was a marvellous crosser of a ball and scored a tremendous amount of goals. He had a fantastic shot, it was so powerful. I knew if he was going to shoot there was a fair chance the goalkeeper wouldn’t be able to hold it, so I would follow up and invariably the guy would drop it.”
– Denis Law
“What a pleasure to play alongside. I don’t think I’ve even seen anybody who could beat players as easily as him, myself included. I often used my pace, but Bobby made it look effortless. And once he got within 30 yards of goal, he was lethal with either foot. Because he played a lot on the left, many people assume he was a natural left-footer, but I don’t think he was. He was just so good with both feet.”
– George Best
“He was a naturally gifted player, and was two-footed as well, one of the most two-footed players you’ve ever seen. He could go either side, shoot with either foot.”
– Sir Geoff Hurst
“To score that many goals from midfield is just a remarkable achievement. He was a great player, capable of a brilliant shot but also a brilliant player to have in the team. He was a clever player, won so much and will go down as one of the all time greats in world football.”
– Sir Geoff Hurst
“Sir Bobby represents everything that is good about the game of football; fair play, respect, and true loyalty and he is a good example for future generations, both on and off the pitch.”
– Michel Platini
“Bobby is, quite simply, the most iconic figure in English football history. A player, a diplomat, a gentleman and a tireless worker for charity, he represents everything that is good about football and Manchester United.”
– Edward Woodward
(Executive vice-chairman, Manchester United)
“Bobby is a great example in how he kept his feet on the ground and kept their humility all their life. Another thing that surprised people is how shy he is. But what a solid human being and a person you’d trust with your life. He’s been a terrific friend to me ever since I came to the club.”
– Sir Alex Ferguson
“Some say Bobby Charlton was a scorer of great goals, rather than a great goalscorer. Yet no player has scored more for England and no player has scored more for its greatest club, Manchester United.
“So his 49 goals for England and his 249 for United can’t all have been 25-yard thunderbolts – it just seems that way in the mind’s eye. When he hammered one into the top corner from long range it was as if he were a man possessed, desperate to separate the leather casing from the bladder.
“I made virtually all of my 57 England appearances alongside Bob and I can remember few greater competitors and few greater professionals. His fellow greats like Best and Moore did not lead blameless lives away from the game but Bob was dedicated to his craft.
“His sainted image made it difficult when you played against United though, because although I never heard him swear at a referee, Bob would moan at them constantly and they would be so in awe of the great man that they’d usually do as they were told.
“I can remember, more than once, yelling: “F***ing hell ref, why don’t you just give Bobby the whistle, you might as well!”
“But this is a man who survived the Munich air disaster in 1958, won the World Cup in 1966, the European Cup in 1968 and played a key role in the appointment of Alex Ferguson as Old Trafford manager in 1986.
“He’s history in the flesh is Bobby Charlton. He’s our greatest living football man.” – Jimmy Greaves
“He is embedded in the club.”
– David Beckham
“He epitomises Manchester United.”
– Ryan Giggs