Sir Bobby Charlton will always be ‘a huge inspiration’ at Manchester United – Erik ten Hag23 October 2023
Last updated on .From the section Man Utd
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says Sir Bobby Charlton will continue to inspire the club following his death aged 86.
Ten Hag expects an emotional Old Trafford atmosphere on Tuesday evening when FC Copenhagen visit in the Champions League.
It will be United's first home game since club legend Charlton's death was announced on Saturday.
"He is a huge inspiration for us every day," said Ten Hag.
"He is in front of Old Trafford, with Denis Law and George Best [in the statue]. He is always with us. I am sure it will be a very emotional evening."
The 1966 World Cup winner will be remembered on the cover of Tuesday's match programme, with a wreath laid on his seat in the director's box and players and staff wearing black armbands.
There will also be a minute's silence prior to kick-off, with a commemoration taking place earlier in the day at the club's Uefa Youth League fixture.
While not all details are finalised, United also intend to use Sunday's derby against Manchester City to celebrate the life of Charlton, with a minute's applause and expressions of remembrance on flags and banners inside Old Trafford.
There will be a minute's applause before all of Tuesday and Wednesday's matches in the Football League, with players in those games also wearing black armbands in honour of a man many regard as England's greatest ever player.
On Monday around 1,500 people, including club greats Brian Kidd, Pat Crerand, Gary Neville and Wes Brown, visited the club's stadium to pay their respects and share their tributes to Charlton within a book of condolence.
The 'Holy Trinity' statue outside United's ground has become the centre of the floral tributes to Charlton, who won three league titles and the FA Cup with the club as well as skippering the Red Devils to their first European Cup triumph in 1968, 10 years after the tragedy at Munich which changed his life.
"Bobby was a legend, a giant, not only for Manchester United but for football. His legacy and the high standards [he set] are what we have to live every day," said Ten Hag.
"Our thoughts are with his wife, his children, and his grandchildren."
Ill health has prevented Charlton from attending games at Old Trafford in recent years but previously he was a regular presence at matches.
Portuguese defender Diogo Dalot met Charlton after joining United in 2018, and his winning goal at Sheffield United on Saturday was the kind of spectacular 25-yard effort Charlton was synonymous with.
"It's a big privilege when you compare Sir Bobby's goals and they relate to a goal of your own," said the former Porto full-back.
"I was fortunate enough to get to know him. Since I arrived at the club, he was always there after the games with us. If we won or lost he was always there to give you a word of appreciation. At times he would even say we had to play a little bit better.
"When I arrived I always tried to know a little more about the history of the club, whether it was close history or the longer history. Hearing about Sir Bobby was something you had to have done.
"He represents the standards of this club. It's something we have to look back [on], and if legends like this won the best titles, won the best games, scored the best goals, we have to follow in those steps."
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