Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton dies aged 86

England World Cup winner and Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton has died aged 86

England World Cup winner and Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton has died aged 86.

"It is with great sadness that we share the news that Sir Bobby passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning,” Charlton’s family said in a statement on Saturday morning.

Reacting to the news, Manchester United said the club is in mourning following the passing of “one of the greatest and most beloved players” in the history of their club.

"Sir Bobby was a hero to millions, not just in Manchester, or the United Kingdom, but wherever football is played around the world. He was admired as much for his sportsmanship and integrity as he was for his outstanding qualities as a footballer; Sir Bobby will always be remembered as a giant of the game,” the football club said on its social media platforms.

Considered one of England's greatest footballers, Sir Bobby Charlton played 106 times for his country and scored 49 goals.

In 1966, he was part of the football team that beat West Germany in the World Cup final at Wembley and won a Ballon d’Or in the same year.

In his 17-year playing career as a Manchester United midfielder, Sir Charlton played 758 games and scored 249 goals.

He won the European Cup, three English league titles as well as the FA Cup.

In his personal life, Sir Charlton was always praised by family, friends and teammates for his humility, discipline and sportsmanship.

He retired from playing football in 1976. He went into coaching and founded a youth scheme that included David Beckham, a future United and England great, among its participants.

He joined the board of directors at Manchester United in 1984 where he remained for 39 years. Charlton persuaded the board in 1986 to appoint Sir Alex Ferguson, who delivered 38 trophies during nearly 27 years in charge.

Knighted in 1994 by Queen Elizabeth II, he later established the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation in 2011 which focused on removing landmines in former war zones.