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Erik ten Hag walks onto the pitch with a bagpipe player as Man United pay tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton ahead of their game with FC Copenhagen, before he lays a wreath in honour of the United great


Erik ten Hag led the tributes to Sir Bobby Charlton during Tuesday’s match against FC Copenhagen as he walked out from the tunnel with a bagpipe player – before laying a wreath on the side of the pitch in honour of the United legend.

United are facing the Danish outfit in the Champions League just three days after Sir Bobby – who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to ever grace the game – passed away at the age of 86 following a battle with dementia. 

The gifted footballer was born in Ashington, Northumberland, on October 11, 1937 and played an integral role in England‘s 1966 World Cup glory.  He made 758 appearances for United while also earning 106 caps for his beloved country and has a stand named after him at Old Trafford.

And ahead of kick off, the club held a special pre-match tribute to Sir Bobby which ended with a minutes silence. 

As the players gathered in the centre circle, Ten Hag emerged from the tunnel behind the bagpipe player.

Erik ten Hag led the tributes to Sir Bobby Charlton during Tuesday’s match against FC Copenhagen as he walked out from the tunnel with a bagpipe player

He was joined on either side by former United goalkeeper Alex Stepney (right), who was a team-mate of Sir Bobby at the club, and youth team captain Dan Gore (left)

He was joined on either side by former United goalkeeper Alex Stepney (right), who was a team-mate of Sir Bobby at the club, and youth team captain Dan Gore (left)

He was joined on either side by former United goalkeeper Alex Stepney, who was a team-mate of Sir Bobby at the club, and youth team captain Dan Gore.

Ten Hag laid the wreath in the centre circle as a minutes silence was observed before he moved it to the side of the pitch. 

A singular bagpipe player coming out onto the Old Trafford pitch has been seen before back in 2008 on the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster when United faced Man City.

It was also seen during the first game at the ground following Sir Matt Busby’s passing when they faced Everton in January 1994. 

A wreath was also placed on Sir Bobby’s seat within the Director’s Box, while he was remembered on the front cover of the matchday programme.

Players and staff of both sides similarly wore black armbands in memory of the United legend, while Copenhagen supporters could be heard singing ‘One Bobby Charlton’ ahead of kick off in what was a nice touch and they also unfurled a banner which read: ‘Rest in peace Sir Bobby Charlton.’

Several supporters also paid tribute to Sir Bobby outside Old Trafford ahead of kick off. 

It comes after he was commemorated at United’s UEFA Youth League fixture on Tuesday afternoon before the Under 19 side lost 1-0 against their Copenhagen counterparts. 

Meanwhile, both Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand paid tribute to the United legend when working pitchside for TNT Sports.

Ferdinand said: ‘He was just a fantastic human being first and foremost. A wonderful football player but the way that he carried himself as a human being was the thing that stood out for me above everything. 

‘The football club ran through his veins. He just loved this football club like not many I’ve ever seen before.

‘If you look at his life and what he achieved: Ballon d’Or winner, World Cup winner, European Cup winner. He won multiple trophies here, (yet) he still gave you so much time.

‘I had special moments with him at different times of my career here. He had a real calming voice and influence and he was someone you thought to yourself “wow, thanks.”‘

Scholes added: ‘He was a wonderful wonderful man. It was sad day when we found out the news but I think if you look at all the tributes around the world – the first player that comes to your mind when you think about Man United is Sir Bobby Charlton.

Ten Hag  laid a wreath in the centre circle before he then moved it to the side of the pitch

Ten Hag  laid a wreath in the centre circle before he then moved it to the side of the pitch

Both sets of players observed a minutes silence in memory of United great Sir Bobby

Both sets of players observed a minutes silence in memory of United great Sir Bobby

‘To go through what he went through with the tragedy of Munich and then to go on to win the European Cup and the World Cup – it’s just a really sad evening tonight and let’s just hope we get through it.’

The former United midfielder also recalled a particular story after United had won the Champions League in 2008 as he said: ‘I was all over the place at this point and he just calmed me down and said listen “You’re one of the three people to lift this trophy for this club.”

‘He really settled you down and makes you realise the enormity of what you’re doing there as a Manchester United player, what it means to win that cup.’

United’s Women’s side also remembered Sir Bobby at their WSL fixture on Sunday when they faced Everton, with a minute’s silence observed, while the players also wore black armbands. 

Ten Hag and his squad wrote personal messages in memory of Charlton at their Carrington training ground, which will be added to a book of condolence that has been opened at Old Trafford.

More than a thousand fans signed the book within a day of his death being announced as supporters flocked to Old Trafford to pay their respects. 

Speaking ahead of their clash with Copenhagen, Ten Hag said United would look to seek inspiration from the club’s Holy Trinity of George Best, Denis Law and Sir Bobby.

‘He (Sir Bobby) is in front of Old Trafford with Denis Law and George Best,’ said Ten Hag. 

‘He is always with us. They are always a huge inspiration for us every day and every game.’

The Dutchman also paid a heartfelt tribute to Sir Bobby as he added: ‘Bobby was a legend, a giant, not only for Manchester United but for football. 

Copenhagen fans could also be heard singing 'One Bobby Charlton' and also unfurled a banner

Copenhagen fans could also be heard singing ‘One Bobby Charlton’ and also unfurled a banner

A wreath was similarly placed on Sir Bobby's seat (number 122) within the Director's Box

A wreath was similarly placed on Sir Bobby’s seat (number 122) within the Director’s Box

‘So his legacy, the high standards, we have to live every day. What he meant for Manchester United, and the standards he set, they were emphasised in the last couple of days. 

First, we want to win as a tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton, but also you want always to do that in a certain way, and that is what we are aiming for. 

‘It is not always possible in football. You don’t always play that well but you have to find a way to win.’ 

United plan to further commemorate Sir Bobby at Sunday’s game against Man City when they will hold a minute’s applause and show expressions of fan remembrance with flags and surfer banners in the stadium. 



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