Charlton, whose name is linked around the world with Manchester United and English football, said he was 'really, really proud and very honoured' by his knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours. 'I don't know how I will be able to handle it,' he said. 'It won't change me and I hope it won't change my friends.'
Widely regarded as English football's finest ambassador, Charlton survived the Munich disaster to win three League championships, an FA Cup and a European Cup with Manchester United, where he is still a director. He became his country's leading goalscorer and crowned his achievements with the famous 1966 World Cup victory. He was awarded the OBE in 1969 and the CBE five years later.
'I am pleased for my wife and family and the club and the game,' he said of his latest honour. 'Football gets pilloried now and again and if there is a bright spot like this, it is very nice.'
Other sporting honours include a CBE for Trevor Bailey, the former England cricket captain, while the former West Indies captain, Viv Richards, is an OBE.
SPORTING HONOURS: Knighthood: Bobby Charlton (former Manchester United and England footballer). CBE: Trevor Bailey (former England cricket all-rounder). OBE: Ian Emmerson (British Cycling Federation president), Viv Richards (former West Indies cricket captain), Garry Schofield (Great Britain rugby league captain), Sue Slocombe (Great Britain women's hockey coach). MBE: Nicola Fairbrother (judo Olympic gold medal winner), Ally McCoist (Rangers and Scotland international footballer), Barry McGuigan (former world featherweight boxing champion), Karen Pickering (swimming world champion), John Regis (international athlete), Jack Sokell (Yorkshire County Cricket Club commitee member), Mike Turner (former Leicestershire County Cricket Club chief executive).