Manchester United and England legend Bobby Charlton has died at the age of 86.
Obviously, you’ll read much about his heroics from Manchester United and England – not to mention the fact that he experienced the harrowing trauma of the Munich air disaster at such a young age – but we’ll keep this brief and just note some interesting kit occurrences.
Charlton made 765 appearances for United – a record until Ryan Giggs passed it out – and won 106 senior caps for England, though his most notable games for club and country, both at Wembley, came in change strips.
In 1966, he was in familiar red and white as England beat West Germany to win the World Cup final; then, two years later, he lifted the European Cup as United overcame Benfica – this time he was clad in all-blue.
In both of those games, he wore number 9, the digit he was most associated with, but by that stage he was operating as what would be termed as a 10 nowadays.
However, it’s interesting to note that it was only in the respective seasons of success – 1965-66 for England and 1967-68 for United – that he took ‘ownership’ of 9.
For both sides, he had worn 8, 9, 10 and 11 (most often the latter as he often featured on the left wing) prior to that, but as late as 1970 he wore 10 for England – Mick Jones wore 9 – while in his final season at Old Trafford, 1972-73, he wore 11 once at the end of November and then wore 10 the following week. Wyn Davies had 9 on that occasion before Charlton reclaimed it for the remainder of his time there.
After a season out, he had one final season as a player – 1974-75 at Preston North End – and he wore 4 and mainly 11 for them. He couldn’t complain about the boss’s decision, though, as he was the player-manager.