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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Manchester United name South Stand in Sir Bobby Charlton's honour

Manchester United are to rename Old Trafford's South Stand in honour of club legend Sir Bobby Charlton.

Charlton, 78, is United's all-time leading scorer with 249 goals in 758 appearances and won three First Division titles, one FA Cup and the 1968 European Cup during his playing career with the club, which lasted from 1956 to 1973.

The former England midfielder also won the 1966 World Cup and was the winner of the Ballon d'Or in the same year, finishing ahead of Portugal's Eusebio and West Germany's Franz Beckenbauer. He was a runner-up for the award in 1967 and 1968.

United, who named the stadium's North Stand in honour of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2011, confirmed that the rebranded South Stand will be unveiled at the home game against Everton on April 2.

Charlton, now a director at United, told the club's official 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."

Bobby Charlton is presented with a cigarette case ahead of his final appearance for Manchester United in 1973.

United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward added: "Bobby is, quite simply, the most iconic figure in English football history. A player, a diplomat, a gentleman and a tireless worker for charity, he represents everything that is good about football and Manchester United.

"It has been a privilege to know him and humbling to work alongside him for the last 10 years. Renaming the South Stand, which contains both the Directors' Box and the old players' changing rooms, is a fitting tribute to all that Bobby has contributed to the club both as a player and a director."

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