On an enormously emotional evening at Wembley, Sir Bobby Charlton captained United to victory, scoring twice, as Manchester United became the first English team to lift the European Cup. Sir Bobby Charlton won three League titles, the FA Cup and a European Cup with Manchester United and is one of the greatest footballers ever to play for the club. While winning FA Cups is considered football’s ultimate achievement, Sir Bobby Charlton’s finest hour as a club came in May 1968, when he captained United to European Cup glory at Wembley.
He went on to play a stellar part in the 1966’s Cup victory, scoring twice in their semi-final victory against Portugal. He played for England in their winning 1966 World Cup squad and was named the European Footballer of the Year. In his 17-year playing career, Sir Bobby Charlton scored 249 goals in 758 Manchester United matches, helping England to victory at the 1966 World Cup. His final match for Manchester United was against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on April 28, 1973, and the BBC cameraman for Match of the Day filmed the Chelsea chairman presenting him with a special cigarette case before the game.
Despite making his debut in the first team, Sir Bobby Charlton did not claim a regular spot until the later stages of the 1956/57 season, scoring ten goals as United won the League – their fifth title in the club’s history. Only one man had won a combined three first division (now Premier League) tags, the FA Cup, four Charity Shields (now the Community Shield) and the European Cup during his 17 years with his former club, Manchester United, at a time when the beautiful game was just a little bit more competitive than today. Charlton held the record for most appearances for the English national team, with 106 caps, scoring 49 goals from midfield, while also holding second place for the most Manchester United appearances at a former club, double to Ryan Giggs, although Charlton started the most games. Just 20, Sir Bobby Charlton returned to Manchester eight days after his car accident, making his first return to the field on March 1, hardly a month since the tragedy.
Sir Bobby Charlton was inspired to play and later led the Manchester United side all the way to the 1958 FA Cup Final. He is memorialised in bronze at United Trinity Statue outside Old Trafford, Manchester. In association football, United Trinity, or the Holy Trinity, refers to the Manchester United trio of George Best, Denis Law, and Sir Bobby Charlton. For the 1973-74 season, Charlton departed Manchester United to become manager of Preston North End. The following season, he was promoted to player-manager. He then accepted a position as a director at Wigan Athletic before joining Manchester United’s executive board in 1984.