Farewell Sir Bobby – now only Sir Geoff remains


Farewell Sir Bobby – now only Sir Geoff remains

By Hughie Southon

West Ham’s Sir Geoff Hurst tonight finds himself the only member of the England World Cup winning team still alive.

The hat-trick hero of the 1966 victory learned that Sir Bobby Charlton has passed away at the age of 86 to join the legends who have given England their only victory in the world’s major competition. In passing on his condolences to the Charlton family he said Sir Bobby would never be forgotten . Indeed!

It would be so wrong not to pay a huge tribute to the wonderful Bobby  whose career at Old Trafford was birthed out of the Munich Air disaster. He went on to become one of the most elegant strikers many of us have ever seen. Football looked so easy for him, not unlike our own Bobby.

Farewell Sir Bobby

He debuted for United in 1956 and went on to play 758 matches , scoring 249 goals. He won three league titles and one FA Cup at Old Trafford and, after leaving United in 1973 and becoming Preston manager, he returned to Old Trafford 11 years later as a club director. He was knighted for services to football in 1994.

He won 106 caps for England and scored 49 international goals – records for his country at the time. The most important was the semi final of the competition against Portugal when he scored two goals, the second from a pass  from Hursty to push us into the winning Final.

He was an unforgettable footballer and those of us who saw him in his prime can consider ourselves enormously privileged.

Rest in peace Sir Bobby!

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon