THE SITTER'S TALE: Sir Bobby Charlton
The England football legend might be a saint to the game's followers, but he is certain that's not a halo around his head
Sunday 12 September 1999
The portrait shows me at home in Cheshire, though it wasn't actually painted there. Peter came and took photographs of various rooms in the house and of views into the garden. Then I sat for him in his studio, and he constructed the whole scene from there. Because I'm abroad so much on business the process took about six months, though the actual sitting time was probably no more than four or five hours. We talked about all sorts of things - politics and so on, but not football. Peter wasn't very interested in football, although he seems to be more interested now. When he's wanted to come and see Manchester United I've arranged tickets for him.
It's a really nice portrait. Nice is probably not the word. It's very striking, and I'm told it's one of the most popular portraits in the gallery. It's certainly an honour to be among so many great names. I don't have a copy at home, but if I'm in London I might take relatives to go and see it. Is that a halo above my head? People might think that, but I think the idea really is to suggest movement. There's a slight blur around my left foot. I didn't have any say in how Peter would portray me, and I didn't want any. It's his view of me, and I'm really delighted with it.
The unveiling was very special. Quite a few of the 1966 World Cup final team came along, and Bobby Moore did the actual unveiling. It was one of the last occasions we were all together before Bobby died.
Peter Edwards's 1991 portrait hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, London WC2 (0171 306 0055)
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,' say police
- 2 Ridley Scott on Exodus, Gods and Kings casting: 'I'm not going to get it financed if my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such'
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' close to camp
This house and dental clinic 'piled up like bricks on the brink of collapsing' is why Japan wins at architecture
Ridley Scott on Exodus, Gods and Kings casting: 'I'm not going to get it financed if my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such'
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict