Born on  October 11th 1937 in Ashington, County Durham

International Caps 106
International Goals   49
FIFA World Cup™ winner    1966
European Championship third place   1968
Manchester United   1953 - 1972
Preston North End (player-manager)   1973 - 1974
Club honours
English Champion    1957 , 1965 , 1967
FA Cup Champion    1963
European Cup Champion   1968
English league appearances   751
English league goals    245

Had he not been so modest, there was a time when Bobby Charlton could have claimed, with some justification,that he was the most famous living Englishman. He never did,of course, but others,  such  as  TV soccer  pundit Jimmy Hill, said it for him.  It was the late 1960s.  England  had won the  World Cup and  Manchester  United  the  European Cup.  All over the world  there were  children  who could  speak  only  two  words of English.  One was "Bobby", the other was "Charlton", such was the esteem in which he was held.

It was more than just his tremendous achievements that sparked instant recognition, though he won everything the game has to offer.  Championships,  Cup winner's medals, a record number of  international caps and goals.
Nor was it solely his exquisite skills - grace, speed, athleticism and a thunderbolt shot that made him dangerous even 30 yards from goal.
No,  Charlton  stood  for  something  that  the  world  admired.  He was a gentleman, the ultimate in old-fashioned sporting   heroes .  He  was  never  in  trouble,  never  argued  with referees,  showed   honesty   and  respect  to opponents.  It  made  him a  perfect  role model,  the  essence  of the  Corinthian ideal. His status as the greatest ambassador in the  history of British sport rested unequivocally on his unrivaled sense of fair play.

Charlton  was  born  in  October, 1937,  into  a  football  family in the Northumberland mining village of Ashington. His mother Cissie was a Milburn , his  grandfather  and  four of his uncles were professional footballers and one of  those  uncles  was  the legendary  "Wor"  Jackie  Milburn,  Newcastle  United  and  England  centre  forward. Cissie  was  a football  fanatic  who taught Bobby and his elder brother Jack how to play.She once said: "I never had a doll.  I just  wanted to play  football  with  the  lads.  It's  in  my  blood. "  Even in her seventies, she was still coaching children at the local primary school.

Bobby  was  chosen  to  play  for  England  Schools  against  Wales  in the days when  93,000 people would pack the  stadium  to  watch  boys play.  Word  soon  went  round  that here  was  a  special  talent  and  scouts  from 18 leading clubs made their way to the Charltons' colliery-owned terrace home.

" They  were  offering  us  the   world.  One  fellow  offered  £800   (a huge sum then).  Another  said  he'd  double whatever   was   the   highest   offer   we'd   had.   He  didn't   even  ask  what  it  was. "
Charlton's   idols   were Newcastle  United,  but he would go to  St  James's  Park in anticipation  of  seeing  the  great players from other famous clubs. His favourite was Stanley Matthews, from whom he learned the importance of speed off the mark.

It was the late 1940s and Matthews was at his peak. Charlton recalled:  "You  could  stand on the cinders in front of the terracing. The men used to pass you down over their heads.  "Stan  was  magic . We  all  like dribblers and he was  the wizard .  I would study him and  think:  'What makes him better than anybody else?'  My  uncles  said:
'Just watch his first 10 yards.'
"After  that  I  practised  sprinting  with my  grandad, who trained professional sprinters. But the motivation came from Stan. " It was to pay off.  Later,  at the peak of his game,  there was no one quicker over those first 10 yards.
Charlton  goes  further:  " It was from Stan that I learned how to find space,  how to beat an opponent,  how to put defenders off balance and how to time my runs."

Bobby was still a schoolboy when he decided to join Manchester United. They were to be his only club.
And   so  the  great  adventure  began  in  the  season  that  Charlton  began  to  establish  himself  as  an   Old  Trafford   regular.  He had made his debut against Charlton (who else?) and scored two goals.
United reached the semi-final of the  European  Cup  at  their  first  attempt in  1956-57,  losing to the eventual winners  Real Madrid. They   were beaten in that year's FA Cup   Final  2-1 by Aston Villa.

However, they had retained their League title and all was set for another crack at the European Cup. They were not to know that disaster was lurking in the shadows.
It was 3.04 on a snowbound Friday afternoon. The date was February 6, 1958. The day a team died.
United  had  drawn 3-3  against Red Star in Belgrade and were through to  the semi-finals of the  European Cup.   The plane in which they were flying home, a  British  European  Airways  Elizabethan,  had stopped at Munich to refuel.
There was slush on the runway as it took off. The Elizabethan never made it off the ground. Just 54 seconds after the pilot opened the throttle, the plane hit the airport's perimeter fence, slithered 200 yards across a frozen field and burst into flames.
Twenty- one  people  died,  among   them  seven  of   Busby's  Babes   - Roger  Byrne,   Tommy  Taylor,   Mark  Jones,  David  Pegg,  Geoff  Bent,   Eddie Colman and Billy Whelan. Busby survived, clinging to life in an oxygen tent. So did another young man, one who symbolised the brilliance of the Babes. His name was Duncan Edwards, arguably the greatest footballer Manchester United ever produced.
After 15 days, Edwards died from his injuries. He was 21. A truly world-class talent had been lost.
Charlton,  just  20,  had  been  thrown  40 yards clear of the wreckage and escaped with a cut head. Busby came home and with his assistant Jimmy Murphy, who had not been on the flight,  set about  rebuilding  his  shattered team.  Charlton  was  to  be  the player central to his plans.
Three months after the Munich tragedy, United had bravely reached the  FA  Cup  Final  with  a  patched  up  side. The nation's hearts were with them, but they went down to Bolton 2-1.

Charlton had gained the first of his record 106 England caps, scoring in the defeat of Scotland at Hampden. He shot on the run from a pass by Tom Finney before a 134,000 partisan crowd. "I can still hear the sound of the ball lashing against the net ,"  recalled Charlton.  "After that, all you could hear was the silence."

Charlton's incredible modesty shines through the memory. "I'd probably been picked for England too soon," he said. "I think they felt sorry for me because of Munich." He was selected for England's World Cup campaign that summer in Sweden, but remained on the bench as his team-mates drew all three group matches and then failed to qualify for the quarter-finals by losing to  Russia 1-0 in a play-off.  Charlton's day would come . . .
At this time, Charlton played on the left-wing. It was much later that he was to move, first to inside  forward and then into the deep-lying centre forward role, the equivalent of today's central attacking midfielder. But he was anxious to  move inside,  to make  a greater contribution to the game. In a 1961 football annual he wrote of "wanting to create something, something that might be remembered." It was only five years away. 

And in 1962 he went to his second World Cup, this time in Chile and as a first-choice player. England qualified for the quarter-finals, thanks to a 3-1 defeat of Argentina in which  Charlton  scored.  But  the  Brazil  of  Garrincha,  Didi  and  Amarildo  were too good for England and they were knocked out 3-1.
It was 1962-63 and Busby had  said  after  Munich  that  it  would  take five years to recover. How right he was. United reached the FA Cup Final against Leicester. The match took place on Saturday, May 25 at Wembley. A ground ticket cost 17/6 (88p) and the souvenir programme was a shilling (5p).
United's team  was  the  most  expensive  up  to then  to  appear  in  a  Cup  Final,  yet  Leicester  were  the favourites. The reason was United's wayward League form in these years. They had finished 19th out of 24 in the First Division, but in the Cup they had scored 12 goals, conceding only one.
It  was  one  of  the  most  one- sided  Finals  ever  seen.  United  won  3-1,  Charlton  setting  up  the  second goal when he let rip with a flier that Leicester keeper Gordon Banks couldn't hold and Herd knocked in the rebound.
For those like Charlton who had been through Munich, it was an overwhelming occasion. United were back in business, but there was better to come.
The season of  1963-64  was memorable for two reasons.  First,  against  West Brom,  the  triumvirate  of  Law-Charlton- Best  played  together for the first time. Significantly, they all scored in a 4-1 victory.
The second was that United were back in Europe for the first  time  since Munich,  this time in the  European  Cup Winners' Cup.  Charlton,  now coming inside more often, had scored a spectacular acrobatic goal in the 7-2 aggregate   demolition of Dutch part- timers Willem II Tilburg. But the next round pitted them against Tottenham Hotspur, holders of the Cup Winners' Cup.
They lost the first leg 2-0 at White Hart Lane and faced a seemingly uphill task.  United  were  2-1  ahead  in  the  second  leg at Old Trafford, but trailing on aggregate, when Charlton scored twice to put them through to a quarter-final against Sporting Lisbon.
The first leg was at home and Charlton scored again in an impressive 4-1 victory..  The away  match  was  a  nightmare,  United  suffering  their worst defeat in Europe 5-0. Some of United's League form was bizarre that year. For example, they lost  6-1  at  Burnley and yet took the return fixture 5-1. These were the days  of attacking  football,  however,  and big scores were not unusual.  Despite  the  inconsistency , they finished runners-up to Liverpool in the Championship.

The turning point came in 1964-65.  United  won  the  League  and  reached the semi-finals  of  the  FA  Cup  and  the  Inter-Cities  Fairs  Cup,  the forerunner of today's UEFA Cup. Charlton was in tremendous form  that  season  as  United  inflicted heavy  defeats on some good teams. They beat Liverpool 3-0, Aston Villa 7-0 and Blackburn 5-0 at Ewood Park. Charlton got a hat-trick against  Rovers  and, as Nobby Stiles said, "played them on his own."
But the most impressive performance was a  6-1  hammering of Borussia Dortmund in Germany in the second round of the Fairs Cup. Charlton got three, one of them a rocket which crashed in off the   crossbar, and added  two more - one from 20 yards - in the 4-0 victory at Old Trafford. It is worth remembering that Dortmund won the West German cup that season and the European Cup Winners' Cup the following year.

Nonethless, United were back in the European Cup chasing Busby's elusive dream. It was an impressive run . A  9-2  aggregate  humbling  of  HJK Helsinki was followed by a
7-1  aggregate  defeat  of  ASK Vorwaerts  of  Berlin.  The  quarter-finals  beckoned,  a clash against mighty Benfica, Eusebio and all.
United shaded the  first  leg  at  Old  Trafford  3-2  and travelled to  Lisbon knowing that Benfica had never lost in 19 European Cup ties at home. There's  a  first  time  for everything  and  that  night  United  turned  on  the  magic  with  a  stunning  5-1  victory.  Charlton  got one of the goals, " sweeping through the Benfica defence before lashing the ball home," as author G. McColl put it in his book, Manchester Utd. In The Sixties.

United felt on top of the world, but it was not to be. At least not yet. The semi-final took them back to Belgrade for the first time since Munich and they went down 2-1 on aggregate to Partizan.

They had played some breathtaking football that season, but inexplicably they missed out on honours, their FA Cup run also ending in the semi-finals and finishing fourth in the League. At the end of a long, hard season Charlton joined his brother Jack for the World Cup Finals in England. They began dismally with a 0-0 draw against Uruguay, but then Bobby lit up  England's  hopes  with  a  stunning goal in the 2-0 defeat of Mexico.
He ran 30 yards with the ball before letting go and it thundered into the net.  That  was  the  goal  that  convinced  a  cynical  nation  that England COULD win the World Cup.  Before  then,  there  was  a  feeling  that  they  just  weren't  good  enough,  an  impression  confirmed  by the sterile performance against the Uruguayans. Charlton changed the national mood in seconds, yet to hear his version made it seem nothing more than good fortune.

"I picked up the ball quite deep and I had no intention of shooting at goal, "he said. "I didn't really expect them to allow me to keep going.
"I just banged it and it came  off  so sweetly and when it went on its way I thought, well that's a goal." Despite his record tally of 49 for England , there are those who say  that  Charlton  was  not a great scorer of goals.  But  he  was  most  certainly  a  scorer of great goals,  and  few  were greater than that.

A 2-0 victory over France put England on course for a quarter-final showdown  with  Argentina.  It  was  a  nasty  game,  the  Argentine defender Antonio Rattin was sent off and England manager Alf Ramsey sent a chill through FIFA by calling the  Argentinians  "animals."  But a 1-0 victory meant a semi-final against Portugal. 
It was against the Portuguese, according to  Brian  Glanville  in  his book The Story of the World Cup, that "Charlton had much his best game of the World Cup, perhaps the best he ever  played for England."  His passing  was crisp,  his  running made gaps  in  Portugal's  defence  and  he scored both goals in a 2-1 win. Charlton had put England into the World Cup Final.
Geoff Hurst, the hat-trick hero of the Final, grabbed the headlines as  England  beat  West  Germany  4-2  in  extra time.  But perhaps the crucial factor in the game that day was the German manager Helmut Schoen's  decision  to  tie- up the  great  Franz Beckenbauer  in a policing role on Charlton. It was a battle of wits. Charlton was the player the Germans feared most and as Beckenbauer himself said years later: "England beat us in 1966 because Bobby Charlton was just a bit better than me."

The reward for Charlton was not only a World Cup winner's medal.  He  was  also  Footballer  of  the  Year,  European Footballer of the Year and voted Best Player in the 1966 World Cup. After 18 months of non-stop football, it came as no surprise  that  Charlton  suffered  a loss of form in the 1966-67 season.  He went three months without scoring before getting two in a  4-0  defeat  of  Blackpool  at  the  end  of  February.  United, however, retained their title in style, wrapping up the Championship with a 6-1 win at West Ham.

By the time he retired as a player in 1973, Charlton had scored 245 goals in 751 games for United. The manner of his going was typical.

Tommy Docherty, then United's manager, said:  " I  was  thinking  that  I'd  have  to  make the  decision  and   didn't  want  to do it. There would have been a public outcry. But he came to see me and said he was thinking about retiring. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I'm glad he made the decision and not me."

He  tried  management  with  Preston  -   for whom  h e turned  out as a player in 1974, the year he was awarded the CBE - and later with Wigan Athletic. But he returned to United as a member of the board and was knighted in 1994.
© 2005-2008. Barrie Spirit Soccer
Bobby  Charlton
"Some people tell me that we professional  players are soccer slaves. Well, if this is slavery, give me a life sentence. "
Sir  Bobby  Charlton
After assuming the post of the director at Wigan Athletic F.C. for some time, he became a member of Manchester United's board of directors in 1984 and remains one as of February 2008.
Winger and midfielder

International debut:
Scotland-England 0-4

Last international appearance:  
England-W. Germany
(2-3 after extra-time, World Cup quarterfinal  )

First international goal:     19/04/1958,
Scotland-England 0-4

Last international goal:     20/05/1970,
Colombia-England 0-4
Played  in the  FA  cup  Final at 19

Played in his third FA Cup final, and  was  at last  on   the winning side as  United   beat Leicester City 3-1

Started  for  England in the World Cup  victory, scoring goals against Mexico and  Portugal along   the  way  to help earn him the  European Footballer of  the Year award

Scored two of  the goals as Manchester United finally  won the European Cup, defeating  Benfica 4-1 after    extra time at Wembley

Played his record 106th and last international  for England in the 3-2  defeat by  W.Germany at the World Cup finals in Mexico.

Moved to Preston for two years as player-manager before becoming  a director back  at  Old Trafford

Received a knighthood   
1962, 1966, 1970
14        /     4     
Man.  United   Record

                 Appearances   Goals
FA Cup
League Cup

604 (2)       199
  79               19
  24                 7
  45               22

752 (2)       247
SIR Bobby Charlton