The Timeline: Sir Bobby Charlton
Friday 22 April 2011
1937: Football in the blood
Born in the coal-mining town of Ashington in Northumberland. Charlton grew up in a colliery terrace. Football ran in the blood; as well as his brother Jack, Bobby's mother was from the famous Milburn family, her cousin Jackie Milburn was a Newcastle United great in the 1940s and 1950s.
1950s: Early success
Bobby signed for Manchester United on New Year's Day 1953, aged 15. Won three consecutive Youth Cups, in a team that included the rest of the Busby Babes, including Albert Scanlon and the great Duncan Edwards. Made his debut in October 1956 as United won the league.
Late 1950s: Munich and beyond
United's defining tragedy happened in Munich on 6 February 1958. The story of the crash that killed 21, including eight players, is told in a new BBC film starring Skins' Jack O'Connell as the midfielder. Manager Matt Busby rebuilt the team around survivor Charlton, and they reached the FA Cup final. The month before the final, aged 20, he made his England debut against Scotland and scored.
1966: On top of the world
The final frontier in United's rebuilding was Europe; and Charlton scored a brilliant goal in the 5-1 quarter-final second-leg win at Benfica. They lost in the semi-finals, but Charlton went on to have a glorious World Cup that summer: scoring both goals in England's semi-final win over Portugal, and winning player of the tournament and the Ballon d'Or, sealing his place in the football pantheon.
1968: Triumph in Europe
Busby and Charlton's journey was completed with triumph in the 1968 European Cup. Charlton captained the side and scored the first and final goals of a 4-1 win over Benfica at Wembley. Ten years on from Munich, the promise of the Busby Babes was fulfilled. United was the first English team to win the European Cup.
1970s: End of a glorious career
Charlton went to the 1970 World Cup in Mexico but England could not retain their crown. He played his last United game in 1973, setting a record of 758 appearances, only broken by Ryan Giggs in 2008. After some brief managerial roles at Preston and Wigan, the England great has worked at his alma mater since 1984 as the club's ambassador.
'United' is on BBC2, Sunday 9pm
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre