Manchester United’s players laid a wreath in the center of the field and took part in a period of applause ahead of their Premier League game Saturday in honor of Sir Bobby Charlton, the club great who has died at the age of 86.
A picture of a young Charlton was shown on the screens inside Bramall Lane before kickoff at Man United’s match against Sheffield United as members of both teams stood in a line to pay their respects to one of the world’s most recognizable and respected soccer players.
A message on the wreath laid in front of the Man United players read: “In loving memory of Sir Bobby Charlton, a great player and even greater man. With deepest gratitude for your service, from everyone at Manchester United.”
Scott McTominay was selected in Man United’s team for the match and said it was a tough moment for him and his teammates.
“Everyone has gone into this game thinking of him and wanting to do the best for Bobby,” McTominay said.
Man United manager Erik ten Hag said he had never met Charlton, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2020, but appreciated he was “an outstanding person, an outstanding gentleman in every inch, outstanding on the pitch and off the pitch.”
“He is an example for everyone,” Ten Hag said. “We know not only is the football world losing a big person but the whole of society.”
Manchester United also laid a wreath at the Trinity Statue at Old Trafford and plan to have a book of condolence open for fans at their stadium on Sunday.
The Associated and Press and Reuters contributed to this report.