Old Trafford will gather this evening to pay tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton ahead of Manchester United’s first home match since the death of their legendary former player and ambassador was announced on Saturday.
Supporters laid flowers at the foot of the ‘Holy Trinity’ statue outside the stadium at the weekend, which represents Charlton alongside teammates George Best and Denis Law. Supporters and former players were also invited to sign a book of condolence at Old Trafford, where a stand bears Charlton’s name.
There will be a minute’s silence before tonight’s Champions League match against Copenhagen, in addition to other pre-match tributes. Charlton’s legacy at Manchester United was forged in the European Cup, both tragic and triumphant. Charlton survived the 1958 Munich air disaster, in which eight of his teammates and 15 other passengers perished on the return leg from a quarter-final against Red Star Belgrade. A decade later, after Sir Matt Busby rebuilt his team in the most dire of circumstances, Charlton scored twice against Benfica at Wembley to win United’s first European Cup, with the club winning the competition again in 1999 and 2008 under the leadership of Sir Alex. Ferguson.
Manager Erik ten Hag called on his players to take inspiration from Charlton’s exploits and pay the perfect tribute with a victory.
“He’s in front of Old Trafford,” Ten Hag said. “With Denis Law and George Best. He is always with us. They are always a great source of inspiration for us, every day and every match. »
The Dutchman added: “I remember the last game, the home game against Brentford, even when the game didn’t go our way, they stayed behind us in the tough times and times of adversity around Manchester United , the fans are always with us and we are with the fans, we fight together.
“Certainly tomorrow, after the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton, their hero, their legend, their giant, I am sure there will be an even more emotional evening tomorrow.”
After losing their opening two Champions League group matches against Bayern Munich and Galatasaray, this is a must-win game for United. Full team news will be available soon.