The University was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Sir Bobby Charlton at the weekend, aged 86.
In 2016 the University was proud to award Sir Bobby an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in recognition of his significant sporting success and charitable work.
Sir Bobby is widely considered England’s greatest ever footballer, a World Cup and Ballon D’Or winning midfielder who represented his country 106 times, scoring 49 goals. At club level he played for Manchester United 606 times between 1956 and 1973, scoring 199 goals and winning three league titles, one FA Cup, four Charity Shields, and was part of the first English team to win the European Cup.
In 1958, aged 20, he survived the Munich air disaster which killed 23 people, including eight of his Manchester United teammates. In 2008 he won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award, and was presented the award by his brother, and fellow World Cup winner, Jack Charlton.
In 2016, Manchester United renamed the South Stand of Old Trafford in Sir Bobby’s honour.
He founded the landmine charity Find A Better Way (FABW) in 2011 following a visit to a minefield in Cambodia, where he saw first-hand the devastation landmines cause. FABW had funded research at Bath led by Prof Manuchehr Soleimani to detect non-metallic landmines.
Prof Soleimani said: “Sir Bobby was not only one of the best footballers of all time, he is also regarded as a true people’s man and an absolute gentleman inside and outside of the football circle. He is a great role model upholding fair play and good behaviour and showing respect for opponents.
“Through our research project with FABW, we had several interactions with Sir Bobby, including his and his wife Lady Norma's visit to our lab. We found him a remarkable person, our condolences to his wife Lady Norma and his family.”
The University pays tribute to this extraordinary man and offers its condolences to Sir Bobby’s family and friends.