Erik ten Hag has revealed the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton gave Manchester United’s squad more motivation to win at Sheffield United on Saturday night.
Man Utd and England legend Charlton, a World Cup and Ballon d’or winner in 1966, passed away at the age of 86 before his former side won 2-1 at Bramall Lane after goals from Scott McTominay and Diogo Dalot.
Charlton, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2020, was one of the survivors of the Munich air disaster in 1958 and won three league titles, the FA Cup and the European Cup at Old Trafford.
Speaking after the game, the Dutchman said: “We have to pay contribution. We have to pay, how I say, our big goodbye and remembering Bobby Charlton. What he did was magnificent. We said before the game about how he was not only outstanding on the pitch but also off the pitch. So [we wanted] to credit it and reward his big personality. We did it with a win to celebrate that but also especially to remember Bobby Charlton. I think we did it in a decent way.
“I heard [that] some players, they got inspiration from it. They wanted to win to mark it. It was an extra motivation, absolutely.
“We are very sad and our thoughts are with his family. Especially with Lady Norma, with his children, his grandchildren. With his passing, a legend, a giant, is passing away. His achievements are so immense and huge. Global. You see the facts that he achieved, it is incredible. His titles, trophies, his contributions. I had never had the honour to meet him, but I heard that despite all his trophies and games, he was so humble and a big personality. He was an example for all of us as a footballer and also society, globally.”
Charlton scored 249 times in 758 appearances for United and was their record goalscorer before being overtaken by Wayne Rooney in 2017.
United were pegged back by the Blades having taken the lead through McTominay when the Scotland international was penalised for handball, allowing Oli McBurnie to equalise from the penalty spot after a VAR review. However, Dalot’s stunner from range ensured United moved up to eighth in the Premier League.
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