01 Nov Sir Bobby Charlton: England 1966 World Cup hero has dementia, FA confirms | UK News
Sir Bobby Charlton, one of England’s greatest footballers, has been diagnosed with dementia.
The news was confirmed by the Football Association.
Earlier in the day, his wife Lady Norma Charlton told The Telegraph of her husband’s diagnosis, in a bid to raise awareness of the disease.
The 83-year-old star is best known for being part of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup final against West Germany 4-2.
The announcement of his dementia comes after the deaths of his former Manchester United teammate 78-year-old Nobby Stiles on Friday, and his brother Jack Charlton in July. Both were diagnosed with the disease in later life.
The trio were in the World Cup-winning team, alongside others including Ray Wilson and Martin Peters.
Both Wilson and Peters also had dementia. They died in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
A statement from Sir Bobby’s club read: “Everyone at Manchester United is saddened that this terrible disease has afflicted Sir Bobby Charlton and we continue to offer our love and support to Sir Bobby and his family.”
The FA also tweeted its best wishes.
Former England footballer Gary Lineker tweeted: “Yet another hero of our 1966 World Cup winning team has been diagnosed with dementia.
“Perhaps the greatest of them all @Sir Bobby. This is both sad and deeply concerning.”
The news will raise further questions about the link between football and the brain disease.
In October 2019, a study found former footballers are three-and-a-half times more likely to die from dementia than non-players in the same age range.
The report, commissioned by the FA and the Professional Footballers’ Association, assessed the medical records of 7,676 men who played professional football between 1900 and 1976.
Their records were matched against more than 23,000 individuals from the general population.
The study’s findings came 17 years after former England and West Brom striker Jeff Astle died at the age of 59 with what a coroner described as an “industrial injury”.