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Sir Alex Ferguson pens emotional 1,000-word tribute to Sir Bobby Charlton ahead of Manchester derby… as he labels the United legend ‘his tower of strength’ and the ‘greatest English player of all time’


Sir Alex Ferguson has written a moving eulogy about his ‘tower of strength’ Sir Bobby Charlton as respects are paid at Sunday’s Manchester derby. 

It is the first time Ferguson has talked about Sir Bobby’s death last weekend at the age of 86, penning an emotional 1,000-word tribute in the matchday programme. 

In it, Sir Alex — whose wife Lady Cathy also passed away this month — recalls his first glimpse of Charlton the player all the way to their time together at Old Trafford when Sir Bobby sat on the board and was Ferguson’s staunchest supporter. 

‘The directors came to meet me in Glasgow and asked what my vision was for the job,’ said Ferguson. 

‘I said I would take the same approach I had at Aberdeen, by looking to build up the whole club, not just the team, and that I would do that by developing young players. As I was explaining this, I saw Bobby nudge one of the other directors and he said, “That’s what we want”. He’d made his mind up. From that moment on he was a tower of strength for me. 

Sir Alex Ferguson has written a moving 1000-word eulogy about the late Sir Bobby Charlton

Sir Alex Ferguson has written a moving 1000-word eulogy about the late Sir Bobby Charlton 

Ferguson labelled Sir Bobby his 'tower of strength' and the 'greatest English player of all time'

Ferguson labelled Sir Bobby his ‘tower of strength’ and the ‘greatest English player of all time’

‘It’s no surprise to me that we’ve seen tributes to Sir Bobby from everywhere in the world, on every TV channel and in every newspaper, because he was without question the greatest English player of all time. 

‘People loved him because of all those thunderbolt goals but it was more than that. My dad used to say that humility in success is a sign of greatness, and that was Bobby. He never used to boast about his own achievements; it was always about the team and the club.’ 

Sir Alex’s moving words form part of a 28-page special in United’s matchday magazine with a picture of Charlton as a smiling young United player on the cover.

Former United and City stars Brian Kidd, Alex Stepney, Paddy Crerand, John Aston, Mike Summerbee and Tony Book — who all played either with or against Charlton — will be on the pitch for a minute’s applause before kick-off.

United paid tribute to Sir Bobby ahead of their Champions League tie against FC Copenhagen

United paid tribute to Sir Bobby ahead of their Champions League tie against FC Copenhagen 



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