Sir Bobby Charlton, Find A Better Way’s founder, is among the most celebrated of British footballers.
Despite his heroic sporting achievements, Sir Bobby is now forging a legacy outside of football through his determination to champion the cause of landmine detection and destruction.
Sir Bobby witnessed the destruction caused by landmines on visits to Cambodia and Bosnia as a Laureus Sport for Good Ambassador.
He founded Find A Better Way after recognising that research and development held the key to making the major changes necessary to allow humanitarian demining teams to rid the world of the threat of landmines.
Sir Bobby Charlton: The footballer
One of only three English footballers to be knighted, Sir Bobby Charlton enjoyed a hugely successful career for both Manchester United and England.
He rose to prominence as a member of the famous Busby Babes team put together by Sir Matt Busby and was among survivors of the Munich air crash of February, 1958.
In a 17-year playing career with Manchester United, Sir Bobby played a record 754 games, scoring 247 goals. He was a prominent member of the England team which won the World Cup in 1966.
Charlton, nephew of the great Newcastle striker Jackie Milburn, turned professional with United in October 1954, winning the FA Youth Cup in 1954, 1955 and 1956.
His league debut came on 6 October 1956 against Charlton Athletic at Old Trafford and he made an immediate impact, scoring twice despite carrying an injury.
Charlton was integral in the rebuilding of the Manchester United team following the tragedy in Munich. A permanent switch to a deep-lying forward role brought the best from him, and he was vital as United won the league championships in 1965 and 1967.
Those successes flanked international glory with England. Shortly before the 1966 World Cup, Charlton was named Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year and European Footballer of the Year in quick succession.
He went on to play a starring role as Alf Ramsey’s side won the tournament, scoring twice in the semi-final win over Portugal. Charlton went on to win 106 caps – three as captain – scoring a record 49 England goals.
Charlton’s finest hour at club level came in May 1968 when he captained United to a European Cup triumph. Sir Bobby scored twice in a 4-1 extra-time victory over Benfica at Wembley.
He was part of United’s famous Charlton, Best and Law “trinity” and a statue of the trio was unveiled outside Old Trafford in 2008.
Sir Bobby still plays an active role at Manchester United as an Ambassador and Board member.