Sir Matt Busby once opined about our Bob that “There has never been a more popular footballer. He was as near perfection as man and player as it is possible to be”. We know that he is under egging the omelette.
Retro football talk is often dominated by stats. In keeping with retro football law, Bobby Charlton does not disappoint. Playing for Manchester United he thumped in 249 goals in 758 appearances. Won three league titles, the FA Cup and the European Cup … oh, and secured a World Cup win with England in 1966 to boot.
Born from an egg on a mountain top in Ashington, England, this future Ballon d’Or winner began his football life as a winger before morphing into a rampaging forward playmaker par excellence.
With a comb-over Red Rum would have been proud of, the graceful Charlton excelled at dropping deep. Deployed behind a specialist front player he would exploit his attacking instincts.
His stamina was second to none. His ability to bring others into play with pin point passes was staggering. His talent for striking the ball harder and faster than a comet became legendary.
To date, Bobby Charlton is the only footballer to have ever kicked a football from Old Trafford on to the surface of the Moon. A feat he attempted on a dare by Denis Law and George Best after losing a game of Fuzzy Duck.
Born: 11th October 1937 – Ashington, England Position: Attacking Midfield / Forward
Club Career: Years Team Apps Gls 1956-1973 Manchester United 758 249 1974-1975 Preston North End 45 10
International Career: 1958 – 1970 England 106 49
Heralding from the Milburn factory of footballing protégés. Bobby Charlton made his debut for Manchester United in 1956 aged 19 years. Scoring twice on his debut, he made 14 appearances, scored 12 and helped United win the League. All in his first season.
One of the famed Busby Babes, Charlton survived the Munich air disaster of 1958. He would go on to play a pivotal role in the rebuilding of Matt Busby’s Manchester United.
Two months after Munich, England would also come calling and Bobby would net 3 times in his first two games. Although selected for the England squad in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden he didn’t play.
Four years on, Charlton played in the qualifiers for the 1962 World Cup Finals in Chile. Selected for the final squad, at 24 years of age, he scored against Argentina in a 3-1 group win. His 25th goal for his country in 38 appearances. Sadly, for Bobby, exit came at the hands of a Pele-less Brazil at the Quarter-finals stage.
The following year, in 1963, Manchester United beat Leicester City in the FA Cup Final 3-1. So earning Bobby his first FA Cup winners medal at the third attempt. Progress continued into 1965 and 1967 where Bobby, and United, won two more League titles.
Nestled between these two club titles came the 1966 World Cup. Alf Ramsay had built the England team around Bobby Charlton. He was to play behind England’s greatest ever goal botherer Jimmy Greaves.
Following a 0 – 0 with Uruguay in their opening game, Charlton opened the scoring for England in a 2 – 0 win over Mexico. A further 2 – 0 win over France secured England’s passage into the quarters. A 1-0 win over Argentina pitched Charlton’s England against Eusebio’s Portugal. A loin tingling semi-final.
Against the Portuguese Bobby Charlton put in a match winning performance when his team needed it the most. Bursting the ball sack twice and running the opposition ragged he drove England to a 2 -1 win. A win that set up a show down World Cup Final, England vs West Germany.
Franz Beckenbauer and Bobby Charlton were given orders to wet willy each other out of the game. Orders that would ensure two of the best players in the tournament would have a quiet final. In so doing this enabled the supporting cast to shine. Messrs Hurst, Peters, Stiles and Ball please step forward…England 4 – 2 winners after extra time.
For his part, our Bob went on to win the 1966 Ballon d’Or for being the Ace-iest player in the world.
Ten seasons after Munich, United reached the 1968 European Cup Final. The first English club to get so far. On an electric night at Wembley Bobby Charlton captained Manchester United. Scoring twice in a 4-1 extra time win over Benfica to lift the trophy.
Bobby Charlton, together with Denis Law and George Best, formed the “Holy Trinity”. A trio of Manchester United Legends that, to this day, is one of retro football’s most celebrated line ups.
In the 1970 World Cup in Mexico England and Charlton progressed to the last eight. There they faced a re-match against West Germany. Bobby Charlton controlled the midfield and nullified Beckenbauer’s raking runs. With 20 minutes remaining, with the score at 2 – 1 England, Bobby left the field. Geoff Hurst squandered a good chance before Uwe Seeler levelled the scores. Gerd Muller went on to win the match in extra time for the West Germans 2 – 3. England, the defending world champions, were out.
Having won, a then record, 106 caps, scoring 49 goals Bobby asked Ramsey not to pick him for England duty again. He was still only 32 years of age.
The 1970’s were tough on Bobby and United. Often finding themselves battling against relegation from England’s top tier of football. Falling outs with team mates were heavily reported. George Best, in particular, got the hump and refused to play at Bobby’s testimonial against Celtic.
In 1973, having set a club record of 758 appearances, Bobby Charlton waved goodbye to Manchester United. His appearance record would stand until Ryan Giggs surpassed it in 2008.
Finding good words about our Bobby is not difficult. Franz Beckenbaur says he “Had the lungs of a horse”. Michelle Platini stated that “Sir Bobby represents everything that is good about the game of football; fair play, respect, and true loyalty… a good example for future generations, both on and off the pitch,”
The Time Vault Soccer football card game will leave the final words to his Holiness, Jimmy Greaves, inventor of football, goal botherer and snorter of beer.
“He’s history in the flesh is Bobby Charlton. He’s our greatest living football man.”
If Bobby Charlton is good enough for Jimmy Greaves then he is more than good enough to be one of the best football cards in Time Vault Soccer. We doff our caps to this footballing legend with a representation of the 1965 -1966 World Cup winning season.
Time Vault Soccer football card game Profile:
Position: Midfield / Attack (Center) Rating: 5 Star Skill Stats: ATTACK 8 DEFEND 3 Special:
Trequartista (Creative Skill): When Bobby is played into attack you may look at and re-order the top 4 cards of your Match Deck. ALSO while Bobby is attacking all other attacking players gain +2 attack.
Season Stats: Year Team App Gls Hons 1965 – 1966 Manchester United 54 (9) 18 (4) (WC)
Strategy Tip: Having your players turn up at the right time is key to getting the best from your team. Bobby Charlton brings players in to the game by allowing you to manage your Match Deck in play. Add to this a talent to get the best out of others, represented by an attacking bonus to all other cards, then BOOM! You’ve got your man… A hand managing, heavy hitting 5 star attacking football card.
Features in: “Rivals” – Card No: 11/32”
Figures in (Italics) = stats for their National side.
Boss’s October’21 Offer: Buy Bobby Charlton as part of the “Rivals” England vs Germany starter/expansion set and get FREE SHIPPING worldwide on your order in October 2021. Enter code “comboverbob” when you place your order online through the Time Vault Soccer shop.