Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said on Monday that Bobby Charlton set the standards of what players should deliver at Old Trafford as the Red Devils prepare to honour one of their greats.
Charlton, who died aged 86 on Saturday, will be remembered at United’s first home game since his passing against FC Copenhagen in the Champions League on Tuesday.
A World Cup winner with England in 1966, Charlton played 758 games and scored 249 goals for the club between 1956 and 1973.
He is immortalised outside Old Trafford in a statue alongside George Best and Denis Law.
Christened the club’s “Holy Trinity”, the trio helped rebuild United as a force in England and Europe in the aftermath of the Munich air disaster.
Charlton was the last remaining survivor of the plane crash that killed 23 people, including eight United players in 1958.
“He is in front of Old Trafford with Denis Law and George Best, he is always with us,” said Ten Hag at his pre-match press conference on Monday.
“A huge inspiration for us every day so in every game.”
United badly need a win on what is expected to be a highly emotional evening after losing their opening two Champions League group games for the first time.
“Definitely tomorrow after the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton, their hero, the legend, the giant, I’m sure they will be even more emotional,” added Ten Hag on the United support.
But he called on his players to follow Charlton’s example on the field after a poor start to the season.
United have also lost four of their opening nine Premier League games and needed a late winner to beat bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United 2-1 on Saturday.
“Bobby was a legend, a giant not only for Manchester United, but for football,” said Ten Hag.
“His legacy, what he left were the standards, the high standards. We have to live it every day.
“First of all our thoughts are with his family, his wife, his children, his grandchildren, but also what he meant for Manchester United, and the standards he set.
“The last couple of days, they were emphasised.”
A minute’s silence was held before United’s press conference and the club are still finalising details with the Charlton family and UEFA over further commemorative plans.
Ten Hag and the United squad have contributed to a book of condolence, which was opened on Sunday for fans to pay their respects.
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