In today’s day and age the word legend is often used very loosely but there was a time when legends were few and those who were labelled as such were true beacons of hope and possibilities of their generation. They represented their people and society in ways which are almost unfathomable today. Sir Bobby Charlton was a legend among legends.
Munich Air disaster and the sad passing of his friends and teammates could’ve easily cut short his career. No one even in that era of taking it on the chin and carrying on would have batted an eyelid had he decided to hang his boots. But such Lion Hearted was his personality that he decided to carry on. We can hardly imagine the courage he must have had to muster to step on the Old Trafford pitch again after losing his mates and partners in crime. He could’ve allowed the terrible disaster to define his life but such was his character that an event which would have ended almost anyone else’s career is just a significant chapter in his story.
That fact that he not only continued but also emerged as the greatest player in his generation is further testament to his skills and sheer strength of will. Sir Bobby along with Law & Best formed the holy trinity which fulfilled Sir Matt’s life long dream of making Man Utd the best football team in Europe. I don’t think it would be an aberration to call him the greatest English player of all time. The fact that no player since Sir Bobby has been able to take England over the line in the World Cup is in itself a testimony of his greatness.
For people of the younger generation Sir Bobby has been an ambassador of Man Utd and English football, a role which he took great pride in. He was someone who always wanted to serve the game that gave him so much. His door was always open for people seeking his opinion. Sir Alex and The Class of 92 have always thanked him for his guidance and support, the video of him training with the team before the champions league final in 99 is stuff of legends. Something which really amazed me was the fact that even at this late age he used to visit the Home dressing room at Old Trafford to motivate the players, probably trying to tell them what playing for Man Utd really meant.
If Sir Matt Busby was the spirit of Man Utd, there is no doubt that Sir Bobby Charlton was its soul and beating heart. With great sadness we wish goodbye to a Man Utd legend like no other. Go well Sir Bobby ! I am sure somewhere up in the heavens Georgie Best and Duncan Edwards are excitedly awaiting your arrival.
Written by Akash Khare
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