World Cup winner, European Cup winner, record goalscorer for England and Manchester United; it's not for nothing that Sir Bobby Charlton is regarded as the greatest English player of all time.
Born in Ashington, Northumberland in 1953, Charlton was part of an impressive football dynasty. Four of his uncles were professionals, his mother's cousin was Newcastle United legend Jackie Milburn, while his elder brother Jack became a hero at Leeds United. After an apprenticeship as an electrician, Charlton turned professional in 1954, becoming known as one of the Busby Babes, the group of prodigiously gifted young footballers who emerged at Manchester United under manager Matt Busby.
Great achievements were expected of the Babes, but sadly they entered the history books for more tragic reasons, when on February 6, 1958, a plane carrying them back from a European Cup tie crashed on take-off in Munich. Seven of the team died, but Charlton miraculously survived.
Charlton emerged as a gifted young footballer famous for his piledriving shots and intelligent midfield play. Success initially eluded him with Manchester United, where two FA Cup final appearances ended in defeat. But at the third time of asking he picked up a winners medal in 1963 when the Red Devils swept aside Leicester City 3-1 at Wembley. League titles followed in 1965 and 1967.
In 1966, England hosted the World Cup for the first time, and Alf Ramsey decided to build his team around Charlton. His faith was vindicated as the attacking midfielder's three goals drove them into the final at Wembley, where the boys of 66 famously overcame West Germany 4-2 in extra time.
Two years later, and ten years after the Munich air disaster, Manchester United reached the European Cup final. On an emotional night, as United swept aside Benfica 4-1 to become the first English side to lift the trophy. Charlton, scoring twice, not only entered the record books, he wrote his name into football folklore.