ANI Photo | From surviving Munich accident to becoming football icon: A look back at Sir Bobby Charlton’s life, career

Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton who not only went down in the history of the club but the hearts of millions of fans all over the world.
The iconic attacking midfielder passed away at the age of 86 on Saturday leaving behind a legacy for many youngsters to follow and dream of in the world of football.
“It is with great sadness that we share the news that Sir Bobby passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning,” a statement from his family read as quoted from Sky Sports.
“He was surrounded by his family. His family would like to pass on their thanks to everyone who has contributed to his care and for the many people who have loved and supported him. We would request that the family’s privacy be respected at this time,” the statement further added.
The former English midfielder was born on 11 October in Ashington, Northumberland in 1937 and made his life in Manchester. A graduate of Manchester United’s youth Academy Sir Bobby in his decorated career played 758 games and scored 249 goals during 17 years of his life that he spent as a Red Devils player.
His career was marked with a number of accolades as he lifted the European Cup, three league titles and the FA Cup. For England, he won 106 caps scored 49 goals, and won the 1966 World Cup.
Often hailed as one of the best to ever grace the surface, Charlton at the age of 20 years was involved in the tragic Munich Air Disaster in 1958.
The team was travelling back from a European Cup tie against Red Star Belgrade when their aircraft stopped in Germany to refuel. The first two attempts to take off from Munich airport were aborted; following the third attempt, the plane crashed.
Manchester United team, at that time known as the ‘Busby Babes’ lost eight players, Geoff Bent (aged 25), Roger Byrne (28), Eddie Colman (21), Duncan Edwards (21), Mark Jones (24), David Pegg (22), Tommy Taylor (26) and Liam Whelan (22). Edwards, who was considered by many to be the finest player of his generation, died 15 days after the accident. Along with this, three club officials were killed, secretary Walter Crickmer, trainer Tom Curry and coach Bert Whalley.
Sir Bobby however survived the accident and in his autobiography – My Manchester United Years, wrote how the incident left him traumatized as quoted from, “In so many ways I was part of the horror, but I was also, in the strangest way, detached. It was almost as if I was disembodied, a silent, traumatised participant in a terrible dream I could neither act in, nor escape from.”
“I thought ‘Why me?’ Why am I here with nothing other than a little gash on the head and all these other friends had been killed? I felt it wasn’t fair, why should it be me? It was such a momentous event, for so many young people to die just on the verge of the great success that was ahead of them, and I couldn’t understand why. We walked away. A few days later you realised the enormity of what had happened, then you started thinking about how lucky you’d been. I was so lucky,” Charlton further added.
In the following years, Sir Bobby went on to become one of the greatest players to play football of his generation and the ones to follow.

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