Former Preston North End manager Sir Bobby Charlton died five days after fall at care home, inquest hears

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Former PNE manager Sir Bobby Charlton died five days after a fall at his care home, an inquest has heard.

The hearing into the death of the 86-year-old – who played for and managed Preston North End – was opened at Chester Coroner’s Court in Warrington on Wednesday (November 1).

According to a record of the hearing, Sir Bobby was admitted to Macclesfield Hospital following the fall during which he suffered rib fractures.

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After he was assessed by medics at The Willows care home, he was taken to hospital where he was put on “end-of-life care”.

Sir Bobby Charlton died five days after a fall at his care home, an inquest has heard (Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire)Sir Bobby Charlton died five days after a fall at his care home, an inquest has heard (Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire)
Sir Bobby Charlton died five days after a fall at his care home, an inquest has heard (Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire)

The causes of death were given as “traumatic hemopneumothorax, a fall and Alzheimer’s dementia”.

The document states: “Retired Manchester United legendary footballer Sir Bobby Charlton was admitted to Macclesfield Hospital at the age of 86 following a fall at his care home on 16 October, 2023.

“He sustained rib fractures as he stood up and fell against a window sill due to being unsteady on his feet.

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“He had resided at The Willows since July 2023, initially for respite, and last two months of life.

“He continued to mobilise as usual following the fall until it was noted that he had swelling to his back.

“He was examined by the home’s GP and transported to hospital, where he was placed on end-of-life care and sadly passed away on 21 October 2023 at 03:50 hours.”

Charlton’s European Cup success at United came ten years after the Munich air disaster, which he and team manager Sir Matt Busby survived but which claimed the lives of eight of Charlton’s team-mates.

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Born in Ashington on October 11, 1937, Charlton played in the World Cup final alongside his brother Jack, who died aged 85 in 2020, and won 106 caps for England, scoring 49 goals.

He made his debut for United in 1956 and went on to play 758 matches for the Red Devils, scoring 249 goals, before moving to Preston in 1973 – initially as manager, but then as player-manager in 1974.

Charlton made 38 appearances for the club that season, scoring eight goals.

His first season at Preston ended in relegation and he left the club early during the 1975–76 season after a disagreement with the board over the transfer of John Bird to Newcastle United.

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Charlton returned to Old Trafford in 1984 as a club director. He was knighted for services to football in 1994.

Manchester United have confirmed that a memorial service celebrating Sir Bobby’s life will take place at Manchester Cathedral at 2pm on Monday, November 13.

The procession to the service will pass by Old Trafford, where he is immortalised alongside Denis Law and George Best in the United Trinity statue.

United said in a statement: “The service will pay tribute to Sir Bobby’s incredible life as a husband, father, grandfather and, of course, as one of the finest footballers this country has ever produced.

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“Further details on the memorial service and the procession will be communicated in due course.

“The family will then hold a private funeral ceremony for Sir Bobby and have requested privacy around the arrangements for this.”

Bundles of flowers, scarves, shirts and messages have been left at the United Trinity statue since his death.

The club say memorabilia has “been carefully relocated to the Old Trafford museum and will join the tributes left by fans following the passing of Sir Matt Busby in 1994”.

The flowers will be composted and used in the gardens at United’s Carrington training ground, with the plastic from the tributes removed and recycled.