Football: Manchester United to name South Stand after Bobby Charlton

The South Stand at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium will be named after Bobby Charlton.
The South Stand at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium will be named after Bobby Charlton.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - England great Bobby Charlton is to have the South Stand at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium named after him, 60 years on from his debut for the club.

The Premier League side said on Monday that the formal naming would take place at the home game against Everton on April 2.

Charlton, a United director, joined the club as an apprentice in 1953 and made his debut in October 1956. The 1966 World Cup winner made 758 appearances for the club, scoring a record 249 goals.

"Bobby is quite simply, the most iconic figure in English football history. A player, a diplomat, a gentleman and a tireless worker for charity, he represents everything that is good about football and Manchester United," said executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward in a statement.

The South Stand contains the only original part of the 1910 stadium infrastructure, as well as the directors' box and old players' changing rooms.

The North Stand was named after the club's most successful manager Alex Ferguson in 2011 to mark his 25 years in charge.

A statue of the "United Trinity" of Charlton, George Best and Denis Law - the players who helped United become the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968 - already stands outside Old Trafford.

"Manchester United has been such an important part of my life and I have so many wonderful memories of this Theatre of Dreams," said Charlton, 78. "As a player, I remember the goals and the marvellous players I played with. As a director, I have seen some outstanding matches and players. It is a special place indeed."