Thousands pay their respects to Manchester United and England great Sir Bobby Charlton

Prince William and Sir Alex Ferguson attend funeral service at Manchester Cathedral

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Thousands of fans gathered on the streets of Manchester for the funeral of English football great Bobby Charlton on Monday.

Charlton, a World Cup winner with England and one of Manchester United's finest players, passed away on October 21 at the age of 86.

Former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, former players Bryan Robson, Roy Keane, Paddy Crerand, Andy Cole and Paul Scholes, England manager Gareth Southgate, and Prince William were among the invited guests at the cathedral for the service.

Charlton was a key member of England’s victorious 1966 World Cup team and also enjoyed great success at club level with United, winning the European Cup in 1968, three league titles and the FA Cup. He played a total of 758 matches for the Red Devils, scoring 249 goals.

“I knew straight away what a great guy he was … Even on international duty it was about winning. A humble guy, a great family man. It never went to his head,” Charlton's former teammate Alex Stepney told the BBC.

The cortege made its way across United's Old Trafford stadium apron, lined by crowds three or four deep in places, before making a right turn out of the complex to continue its three-mile journey to Manchester Cathedral in the city centre.

The hearse was welcomed with gentle applause as it drove past the stadium's East Stand and the United Trinity statue, which features Charlton himself and fellow club greats George Best and Denis Law.

Representatives of the club's under-18 and under-21 teams formed a guard of honour flanking the statue and, behind it, there were numerous black and white photographs depicting Charlton's career.

Updated: November 13, 2023, 3:18 PM