Sir Robert "Bobby" Charlton CBE (born 11 October 1937) is an English former football player, regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time, and an essential member of the England team who won the World Cup in 1966, the year he also won the Ballon d'Or. He played almost all of his club football at Manchester United, where he became renowned for his attacking instincts and passing abilities from midfield and his ferocious long-range shot. He was also well known for his fitness and stamina. He was cautioned only twice in his career; once against Argentina in the 1966 World Cup, and once in a league match against Chelsea. His elder brother Jack, who was also in the World Cup-winning team, is a former defender for Leeds United and international manager.
Born in Ashington, Northumberland, Charlton made his debut for the Manchester United first-team in 1956, and over the next two seasons gained a regular place in the team, during which time he survived the Munich air disaster of 1958 after being rescued by Harry Gregg. After helping United to win the Football League in 1965, he won a World Cup medal with England in 1966 and another Football League title with United the following year. In 1968, he captained the Manchester United team that won the European Cup, scoring two goals in the final to help his team be the first English side to win the competition. He is United's second all-time leading goal scorer (249), being surpassed by Wayne Rooney, and held the distinction of being England's all-time top goal scorer (49) from May 1968 to September 2015, when again Wayne Rooney surpassed his record. Charlton held the record for most appearances for Manchester United (758), before being surpassed by Ryan Giggs in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final.
He was selected for four World Cups (1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970), and helped England to win the competition in 1966. At the time of his retirement from the England team in 1970, he was the nation's most capped player, having turned out 106 times at the highest level. This record has since been held by Bobby Moore and Peter Shilton.
He left Manchester United to become manager of Preston North End for the 1973–74 season. He changed to player-manager the following season. He next accepted a post as a director with Wigan Athletic, then became a member of Manchester United's board of directors in 1984 and remains one as of the 2016/17 season.Close