Loved, adored, never forgotten. Another touch of class on an evening full of bittersweet emotions.
The other Group A game is one of the early kick-offs of the evening. Bayern Munich took an early lead through Galatasaray’s Ali Sami Yen, Jamal Musiala’s advance gave Kingsley Coman the lead after just eight minutes. But after half an hour, Mauro Icardi equalized for the hosts from the penalty spot, firing a panenka down the middle after being knocked over by Joshua Kimmich, and the score was 1-1 at half-time. Here is the table as is.
Fans queued at Old Trafford to sign a book of condolence. “I had a grandmother who lived a stone’s throw from Manchester United,” Jan Dawson writes via email. “She had photos of Bobby Charlton on the mantelpiece. None of us have their grandchildren!”
Fans of other clubs donated tributes. Liverpool may be bitter rivals, but Sir Bobby undoubtedly had the respect of his fans…
… not least because he did it The before them in 1969.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester and Everton supporter, laid a wreath for Sir Bobby at the United Trinity statue. It was a difficult day for Burnham, who gave an emotional interview to Sky Sports News about the United legend and the death of Everton chairman Bill Kenwright.
Sir Bobby Charlton: 1937 – 2023. Loved forever. The first thing fans see when Old Trafford comes into view tonight. Looking on, the United Trinity of Charlton, George Best and Denis Law in bronze; Another statue stares back, Sir Matt Busby keeping an eye on his beloved players, just as he did in the glory days of the 1950s and 1960s.
Bobby Charlton, Manchester United, the European Cup. All stories, legends, triumphs and tragedies are intertwined, so it is fitting that the first game at Old Trafford comes after the great man’s death in the competition he won for the club at Wembley in 1968 that defined him , that meant the most to him of all. The club opened the gates at 6pm this evening so fans could arrive early and pay their respects. It will be an emotional evening.
There is also a football game. Erik ten Hag’s side are in a tough spot in Group A after losing their first two games at Bayern Munich and at home to Galatasaray. Another slip-up tonight would seriously jeopardize their hopes of reaching the knockout stages. United desperately need the three points on offer; They would also like to do it for Sir Bobby. Kick-off is at 8pm BST.