Manchester United's South Stand to Be Renamed in Honour of Sir Bobby Charlton

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2016

Former Manchester United player Sir Bobby Charlton prepares to watch the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Norwich City at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on December 19, 2015.  / AFP / OLI SCARFF        (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Old Trafford's South Stand is to be renamed the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand in honour of one of Manchester United's greatest-ever players.

Per the Red Devils website, the new name will be unveiled at the April 2 Premier League clash against Everton.

Charlton, 78, played 758 times for United between 1956 and 1973, scoring a club-record 249 goals and winning three top-flight titles and a European Cup.

Now a United director, Charlton still plays a major role at the club and said he was greatly honoured to be having an Old Trafford stand named after him, per United's website:

This is a great honour and I am very proud – for myself and my family – that the club has chosen to name the South Stand after me. Manchester United has been such an important part of my life and I have so many wonderful memories of this Theatre of Dreams. 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.

I would like to thank everyone connected with Manchester United. So many people work so hard to keep us at the top; their effort should never be forgotten. But most of all, I would like to thank Norma, my wonderful wife, and my family for the support and encouragement they have always provided. This is for them.

Meanwhile, United's executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, hailed Charlton as "the most iconic figure in English football history."

In his early playing career, Charlton was part of the famed Busby Babes before he lost eight team-mates in the 1958 Munich air disaster.

Having survived the tragedy, Charlton played a talismanic role under manager Sir Matt Busby, as United's team was rebuilt into a European Cup-winning side in 1968.

Against Benfica in the Wembley Stadium final, the Northumberland-born Charlton scored twice in a 4-1 victory and lifted the trophy as captain.

Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney receives an award from former Manchester United player Sir Bobby Charlton before playing in his 500th game for his club in the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Norwich Cit
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Aside from his successes with the Red Devils, Charlton was also hugely influential in England's 1966 World Cup success—he won the Ballon d'Or the same year.

And until recently, he held the all-time goalscoring record for the Three Lions—United captain Wayne Rooney eclipsed his 49-goal landmark last September.

His name will now adorn one of the main stands alongside the Old Trafford pitch, the stand in which the team dugouts reside and the only one which contains "an original part of the 1910 stadium infrastructure," per United.

Adjacent to the famed Stretford End and opposite the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, there are few, if any, more deserving of such an honour at the Manchester club.