Manchester United have announced they are to rename the South Stand at Old Trafford after legendary former player Sir Bobby Charlton.
Charlton, now a director at the club, has been involved at United for more than 60 years – having joined the club as an apprentice in 1953 and going on to become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, with 249 goals.
The new stand will be officially renamed on April 2, when friends and key figures from Charlton’s life will attend a ceremony prior to the Premier League game against Everton.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 15, 2016
Charlton joins the club’s former manager Sir Alex Ferguson in having a stand at Old Trafford named after him.
“This is a great honour and I am very proud – for myself and my family – that the club has chosen to name the South Stand after me,” Charlton said in a statement. “Manchester United has been such an important part of my life and I have so many wonderful memories of this Theatre of Dreams. As a player, I remember the goals and the marvellous players I played with. As a director, I have seen some outstanding matches and players. It is a special place indeed.
“I would like to thank everyone connected with Manchester United. So many people work so hard to keep us at the top; their effort should never be forgotten. But most of all, I would like to thank Norma, my wonderful wife, and my family for the support and encouragement they have always provided. This is for them.”
Charlton made his debut for United in 1956, going on to play 758 times for the club. The South Stand is a key part of Old Trafford’s history, containing as it does the only elements of the original 1910 stadium infrastructure that have been retained amid the ground’s subsequent renovations.
Announcing the stand naming, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward added: “Bobby is, quite simply, the most iconic figure in English football history. A player, a diplomat, a gentleman and a tireless worker for charity, he represents everything that is good about football and Manchester United.
“It has been a privilege to know him and humbling to work alongside him for the last 10 years. Renaming the South Stand, which contains both the Directors’ Box and the old players’ changing rooms, is a fitting tribute to all that Bobby has contributed to the club both as a player and a director.”
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