Bobby Charlton

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Rooney matches Manchester United goals record

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With Bobby Charlton watching, Wayne Rooney matches his mark.

Manchester United is all over Reading at Old Trafford on Saturday, up 2-0 within 15 minutes of their FA Cup third round kickoff.

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And Rooney scored his 249th United goal, doing his best Zlatan impression to chop an 8-yard chance into the Reading goal in the 7th minute.

The match is Rooney’s 543 for United, ninth all-time. Charlton is second with 758, while Ryan Giggs leads the way with 963. It’s hard to believe Rooney will catch either, but he’ll edge Charlton on goals soon.

Watch below, as our fake lip reading indicates Charlton says, “But that’s mine” (kidding).

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Manchester United renames stand after club legend Charlton

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Manchester United is doing some special for “the most iconic figure in English football history”.

The South Stand at Old Trafford will be unveiled as the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand at the April 2 match against Everton.

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Charlton, 78, is revered for his on-field heroics between Manchester United and England. He finished his career for Preston North End and Waterford United. He made more than 600 appearances for United, and has 106 England caps.

From ManUtd.com:

“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.”

The deserved honor is fittingly the oldest stand at Old Trafford. Congrats to Charlton on a crowning achievement in his Red Devils career.

Manchester United’s Rooney on England goal record: “I knew it was a big moment and just picked my corner”

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After scoring his 50th goal for England, Wayne Rooney pumped his fists. He had made history again, further cementing his status as an English legend.

The 29-year-old Manchester United forward collected the milestone in his 107th cap, a 2-0 win over Switzerland. The penalty kick goal moved Roony past Charlton, who had 49 goals in 106 caps.

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Now Rooney can set his sights on Peter Shilton’s English record of 125 caps. Before the game, the striker admitted he’s planning on playing until at least the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Though you might be able to pick a note of ego in his age-related comment, Rooney was more humbled than humble brag.

From the BBC:

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “I’ve been close for the last few games and it’s a dream come true. To be the record scorer before the age of 30 is nothing I could’ve imagined.”

Rooney, who scored his first England goal against Macedonia in 2003, added: “I knew it was a big moment and just picked my corner and put my foot through it. I was bit emotional, it’s a huge honour and one I am extremely proud of.”

This is no minor milestone, especially given how hard it is to keep a place in England’s team. The irrational expectations that hover over the Three Lions unit leads to so much player and coach attrition, and Rooney is beating the odds.

While players like Gary Lineker and Jimmy Greaves boast better goals-per-game marks, what Rooney has done is extremely impressive.

Manchester United star Rooney won’t retire from England; On track to break caps record

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Wayne Rooney broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s goal record on Tuesday against Switzerland, and if the 29-year-old Manchester United captain has his way, he’ll make a lot of distance between himself and the 49-goal Charlton.

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Rooney says he won’t retire from England duty, that it will take a matter of manager’s omission to keep him from pulling on the Three Lions shirt. Calling it a “massive honor”, Rooney is aiming for the 2018 World Cup.

From the BBC:

“I feel I’m capable of going to Russia,” he added. “After that, it may be a realistic time to see how I feel and if I feel it’s not right for England or myself, I’ll have a decision to make.

“If I feel I can carry on, I’ll try. But if the manager says he doesn’t feel I’m in his plans for the next tournament, it’s probably better I don’t play in the qualifying games because I won’t be going to the tournament.”

Rooney will be 32 when the 2018 World Cup kicks off, and would be a near lock to break Peter Shilton’s record of 125 caps if he plays that long (Rooney is at 107).

By the way, if Charlton is “Sir” Bobby, that means Rooney is almost certain to garner that title. Sir Wayne Rooney. Just say it out loud.

Sir Alex off the throne, how many ‘soccer knights’ exist?

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So, Sir Alex Ferguson, that has a lovely ring to it.

But many of you might be wondering, ‘how many knighthoods are handed out in soccer?’ The answer folks, is not a lot.

Sir Alex — who announced his retirement from Manchester United earlier today — was just the eighth soccer player or manager to be knighted, when he was awarded the title by Queen Elizabeth II for guiding United to an historic treble in 1999, and only 14 other key figures in the sport have joined him in receiving the highest possible honor from the British Empire.

So let’s take a look at the other legends who join Ferguson as knights in the soccer realm, and how the Scotsman compares.

Matt Busby

The man whose success Ferguson aimed to emulate, and eventually overtook. Busby created the ‘Busby Babes’ a talented crop of youngsters who drove United on to success before the tragic Munich Air disaster. Busby recovered from that and rebuilt the squad, as they won the European Cup in 1968, United’s only triumph until 1999. 

Bobby Charlton

Charlton is still an ambassador for United today, as England’s top goalscorer (49 goals) starred in Busby’s United team that dominated for decades. The man lives and breathes Manchester United, and he will welcome Fergie to the ambassador role with great pride. One of England’s greatest ever players.

Walter Winterbottom

England’s first, youngest and longest-serving manager, Winterbottom took the reigns in 1946 and left the role in 1962. He was behind many of England’s greatest wins in the early World Cups.

Bobby Robson

One of the greatest English managers, Robson led England to the World Cup semis in Italia ’90. He also led Ipswich to UEFA Cup and FA Cup glory and played for England and West Brom during his playing days. A true gentleman.

Alf Ramsey

England’s World Cup winning coach from the 1996 triumph over West Germany, Ramsey is the benchmark for any England manager to follow. A player with Tottenham and Southampton, Ramsey brought the Three Lions success on home soil. Nobody will ever forget the heroes of ’66 with Ramsey as their leader.

Dave Richards

Current chairman of the Premier League, Richards has been involved in the Football Association and Sheffield Wednesday. He has helped grow the EPL into the global powerhouse it is today, with his efforts solidifying England as the home of soccer.

Trevor Brooking

West Ham legend, Brooking’s wizardry on the wings made him a star in London’s east end and for England throughout his career. He has moved into several roles with the English FA n recent years, helping develop younger talent.

Geoff Hurst

The only player to ever score a hat trick in a World Cup final, Hurst was the national hero after England beat West Germany 4-2 in extra time to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy. Played for West Ham and Stoke before heading to the Seattle Sounders in ’76 late in his career.

John Charles Clegg 

Known as the ‘Gentle Giant’ Charles hailed from South Wales and made a name for himself playing in Italy for Juventus and Roma, as well as the great Leeds United. Many believe he was the greatest ever player Wales produced.

Tom Finney

Preston North End and England legend, Finney was one of the finest players of his generation. A statue of him is erected outside Preston’s Deepdale Stadium and Finney was known for his loyalty to the club and England in his playing days as a tricky winger. One of the true English greats.

Stanley Rous

He was the sixth President of FIFA, in charge from 1961-1974. Rous was also the secretary for the English FA and was an international referee. He officiated FA Cup finals and was a true football man.

Stanley Matthews

Stoke City and Blackpool hero, Matthews was one of England’s greatest every players. Black and white footage forever encapsulates his mercurial talents, as he racked up 697 appearances and played until he was 50-years-old. Remarkable. “The Wizard of the Dribble” and “The Magician” were just some of his nicknames.

Bert Millichip

Former West Brom player and chairman who was also chairman of the Football Association, Millichip was famous for his wit and humor and was a real character. Close friend of Bobby Robson.

Édson Arantes do Nascimento (Pelé)

Given an honorary knighthood in 1997, Pelé is described as many as the greatest player to ever play the game. When he was 17, he finished top scorer in the 1958 World Cup final in Sweden and won three World Cup’s with Brazil. Now an ambassador for the game, Pelé is one of the all-time greats.