Manchester United have honoured their legendary former player Sir Bobby Charlton by announcing they will rename the South Stand at Old Trafford after him.
Charlton has been at the club for more than 60 years as both a player and the position he holds now - a director.
He joined the Red Devils as an apprentice in 1953 and went on to become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, with 249 goals - however, he could soon be losing that record with current striker Wayne Rooney only five goals behind him.
The new stand will officially be renamed on April 2 during the Premier League match against Everton where many of Charlton’s friends and key figures in his career will be there to celebrate.
Charlton will now join Sir Alex Ferguson in having a stand at the Theatre of Dreams named after him and the 78-year-old spoke of his pride at hearing the news.
“This is a great honour and I am very proud – for myself and my family – that the club has chosen to name the South Stand after me," Charlton said in a statement.
"Manchester United has been such an important part of my life and I have so many wonderful memories of this Theatre of Dreams. As a player, I remember the goals and the marvellous players I played with. As a director, I have seen some outstanding matches and players. It is a special place indeed."
Charlton added: “I would like to thank everyone connected with Manchester United. So many people work so hard to keep us at the top; their effort should never be forgotten. But most of all, I would like to thank Norma, my wonderful wife, and my family for the support and encouragement they have always provided. This is for them.”
Charlton made his debut for United 60 years ago and played 758 times during his 17 seasons at the club.
In his playing career, Charlton won three league titles, one FA Cup and one European Cup while he also lifted the World Cup for England, finishing the tournament as top goalscorer and was crowned Ballon d’Or winner in the same year.
England goalscoring record
It won’t be the first time Rooney breaks a Charlton goalscoring record when he inevitably overtakes the 249 goals the legendary striker scored for United.
Rooney recently broke Charlton’s record of 49 goals for England when he scored against Switzerland in September.
Whilst announcing the new stand naming, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “Bobby is, quite simply, the most iconic figure in English football history. A player, a diplomat, a gentleman and a tireless worker for charity, he represents everything that is good about football and Manchester United.”
Who was the better player: Wayne Rooney or Sir Bobby Charlton? Let us know in the comments box below.
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