Manchester United honour Sir Bobby Charlton before Champions League tie

Old Trafford celebrates the life of club legend ahead of FC Copenhagen clash

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Manchester United paid a moving tribute to club legend Sir Bobby Charlton before Tuesday night’s Champions League group stage tie with FC Copenhagen.

Charlton, one of United and England’s greatest ever players, passed away on Saturday, aged 86.

United staged a special pre-match ceremony at Old Trafford, with a lone piper leading out manager Erik ten Hag, Charlton's former teammate Alex Stepney and youth team captain Dan Gore as they laid a wreath in the centre circle.

The tribute was followed by a minute’s silence after which the home supporters loudly sang Charlton's name. United's staff and players wore black armbands for the match.

Earlier a wreath was placed on Sir Bobby’s usual seat in the director’s box and a commemorative match-day programme was produced.

A tribute was also paid prior to United’s Uefa Youth League fixture on Tuesday at Leigh Sports Village. Charlton had always been a keen supporter of the club’s academy.

Throughout the day United fans had turned out in large numbers to sign a book of condolence opened at Old Trafford.

Further tributes are planned to take place ahead of United’s home game against near neighbours and rivals Manchester City on Sunday, including a minute’s applause before kick-off.

Stepney said: “When I got the phone call on Saturday morning, you start thinking about the great man. How he performed day in, day out, training, on the pitch.

“He was very honest, great family man. That was an obvious thing about him. Humble.

“When they opened the stand here for him, the South Stand, he had tears in his eyes.

“I said to him ‘are you OK?’ and he said ‘I don’t deserve it’. I said ‘well, you deserve everything you get from every supporter, everybody throughout the world’. He deserves all of this.”

Updated: October 24, 2023, 10:33 PM