Sir Bobby Charlton collected a lifetime achievement award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards and claimed: "I am very lucky."
The 71-year-old was honoured not just for a football career which saw him emerge from the tragedy of Munich to reach the very pinnacle of the game with Manchester United and England, but also the ambassadorial role he still fulfils for club and country all over the globe.
"I am very lucky," said Charlton who is one of only two English players to win the World Cup and European Cup. "I don't play anymore so what is the next best thing? Supporting the team you like the best."
He added: "I am not a director for anything I can do on a financial or legal basis but for the football side. I get first-class treatment whenever I come to the ground.
"This is paradise."
Charlton has done as much as anyone to make United the institution it is today, part of a glorious past that almost two million visitors have now paid to witness through the club museum.
There are plenty of Charlton-related exhibits in there, the latest of which was donated last May, the Champions League medal he stuffed into his pocket after rather embarrassingly taking it from Michel Platini after United's win over Chelsea at the Luzhniki Stadium.
While most older fans get misty-eyed recalling one of Charlton's thunderbolt goals, the younger ones will remember his refusal to wear a medal when Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon put his on.
"They insisted I went for the medal but I did not feel comfortable about it," he said. "It was not for me. It wasn't right. That night was about the players and staff who work so closely with the team.
"I wasn't going to take the praise, so I just put it in my pocket. It is in the museum now, for everyone to see. It seems like the appropriate place."
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