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Sir Alex Ferguson and Prince William among mourners as thousands gather for Sir Bobby Charlton’s funeral

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Sir Alex Ferguson was among the mourners at Sir Bobby Charlton’s memorial service on Monday, alongside a raft of Manchester United players both past and present in the 1,000 invited guests.

Prince William, who is president of the Football Association, and the England manager Gareth Southgate were both in attendance in Manchester to pay tribute to one of English football’s greatest players. Invited United stars included David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Bryan Robson and Sir Bobby’s teammate Alex Stepney.

The club’s unpopular owners, the Glazer family, did not attend, because it is understood they did not want to become a distraction. The manager, Erik ten Hag, was also absent due to personal commitments in his native Netherlands. Some of the current players were unable to attend after flying to join up with their national teams for upcoming international fixtures.

The Prince of Wales arrives at Manchester Cathedral


The England manager, Gareth Southgate


Sir Bobby’s former teammate, goalkeeper Alex Stepney


Former midfielder Paul Scholes arrives at the funeral


Manchester United’s appearance record holder, Ryan Giggs


Former Manchester United captain Steve Bruce


Sir Bobby died last month aged 86, five days after a fall at his care home.

The Ashington-born midfielder made 758 appearances and scored 249 goals for United in a glittering 17-year playing career. He survived the Munich air disaster in 1958 to help rebuild United, and went on to lift the European Cup in 1968, two years after playing a starring role as England won the World Cup.

The funeral cortege began at Old Trafford, where Sir Bobby is celebrated alongside Denis Law and George Best in the “United Trinity” statue, and passed through streets lined with thousands of fans before reaching Manchester Cathedral.

Lady Norma (second right), widow of Sir Bobby, walks behind the pallbearers


Manchester United fans outside Old Trafford


Flowers lie outside Old Trafford ahead of the memorial service


A wreath lies against the United Trinity statue


The ceremony, which was not filmed or broadcast, included eulogies and tributes from former club chief executive David Gill, former Manchester United Foundation chief executive John Shiels and a personal tribute from the Charlton family.

Hymns included “Abide With Me”, which is traditionally sung before the FA Cup final, “Jerusalem” and a rendition of “How Great Thou Art” by opera singer Russell Watson.

Ex-United midfielder and captain Bryan Robson


Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel


Former Manchester United winger Ashley Young


Ex-United striker Andrew Cole attends the service


Former West Ham captain Mark Noble arrives in Manchester


The family requested donations in lieu of flowers to a series of charities close to Sir Bobby’s heart, the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation, the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust, the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s UK.

Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Jonny Evans were among the current United players at the funeral.

Liverpool’s appearance record holder Ian Callaghan and Manchester City great Mike Summerbee also attended, along with City director Ferran Soriano, and Real Madrid legend Emilio Butragueno.

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