Man United pays respects to the late Bobby Charlton with pre-match tributes at Old Trafford

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — A lone piper playing the tune to the Manchester United anthem “We’ll Never Die” provided a moving soundtrack inside Old Trafford on Tuesday to the latest tributes to club great Bobby Charlton following his death at the age of 86.

The piper led out United manager Erik ten Hag, Charlton’s former teammate Alex Stepney, and United youth-team captain Dan Gore onto the field ahead of United’s Champions League match against FC Copenhagen. They laid a wreath in the center circle before an impeccably observed minute’s silence.

Another rendition of “There’s only one Bobby Charlton” then swirled around the stadium to applause as fans paid their respects to one of England’s World Cup winners from 1966 who is widely considered United’s greatest player.

A separate wreath, meanwhile, had been placed on Charlton’s seat in the directors’ box in the stands.

The piper’s tune was a tribute to the victims of the Munich plane crash in 1958 which killed eight members of the “Busby Babes” United team that was packed with bright prospects. Charlton miraculously emerged from the smoldering wreckage with only light head injuries and picked his way through the wreckage to help survivors.

Charlton led the rebuild at United after the tragedy and was a star of the team that won the European Cup title in 1968, scoring the first and last goals in the final against Benfica.

United’s players wore black armbands for the first match held at Old Trafford since Charlton died on Saturday.


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