Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will miss Sir Bobby Charlton’s funeral due to an ‘unbreakable and long-term personal involvement in the Netherlands’.
Sir Bobby, widely regarded as one of the best players to ever grace the game, died last month at the age of 86 after a battle with dementia.
Family, friends, fans and celebrities from across the football world will come together on Monday afternoon to celebrate Charlton’s extraordinary life.
His funeral procession will pass Old Trafford before heading to Manchester Cathedral for a memorial service. However, Ten Hag will not be present.
The Dutchman has an ‘unbreakable and long-term personal involvement in the Netherlands’, which means he will miss the funeral.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag (left) will miss the funeral of Sir Bobby Charlton (right) due to an ‘unbreakable and long-term personal involvement in the Netherlands’
His procession passes the ‘Holy Trinity’ statue, which depicts Charlton celebrating a goal with fellow United greats Denis Law and George Best, at around 1.30pm.
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Sir Bobby’s procession passes the ‘Holy Trinity’ statue, which depicts him celebrating a goal with fellow United greats Denis Law and George Best, at around 1.30pm.
A United representative has invited fans and members of the public to ‘pay their respects along the route’ ahead of the service, which starts at 2pm.
The service at the cathedral will be led by Canon Nigel Ashworth and will include eulogies by family members and the club. It remains private and is not filmed.
Football fans around the world were devastated to hear that Charlton, who battled dementia in his later years, died after an accidental fall at a care home in Knutsford, Cheshire.
His family released the following statement at the time: ‘It is with great sadness that we share the news that Sir Bobby passed away peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning. He was surrounded by his family.
‘His family would like to thank everyone who contributed to his care and to the many people who loved and supported him. We ask that the family’s privacy be respected at this time.”
Manchester United said ‘words will never be enough’ as they mourn ‘one of the greatest and most loved players in the history of our club’, while England described Charlton, who previously held the record as all-time top scorer for England. and United, as a ‘true legend of our game’.
Sir Bobby had retreated from public life since he was diagnosed with dementia in November 2020, just four months after his older brother Jack Charlton – also a 1966 hero – died aged 85.
Defender Harry Maguire is among the current Man United stars set to attend the ceremony
However, Manchester United’s unpopular owners, the Glazer family, will stay away from the funeral on Monday afternoon for fear of abuse from the club’s fans.
The United club legend will be sadly missed as thousands of people will pay their respects
Sir Geoff Hurst is now the only surviving member of England’s 1966 World Cup squad
The brothers had a bitter feud for decades, but made up later in life. However, Sir Bobby was unable to attend his brother’s funeral due to illness. He was last photographed in public bravely posing for a Covid-19 jab to encourage others to do the same.
Sir Bobby was one of five 1966 England winners to suffer from dementia, after his brother Nobby Stiles, Ray Wilson and Martin Peters.
The midfielder, who joined United as a schoolboy in 1953, embarked on an extraordinary career after surviving the Munich air disaster at the age of 20, which tragically killed eight United Busby Babes and a total of 23 people.
In a brilliant 17-year spell at United – where he played as if every game was for his fallen teammates – he won three league titles, the FA Cup and captained the Red Devils as they became the first English club to win the European title . Cup.
Sir Bobby (pictured right) celebrating England’s victory at the 1966 World Cup