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Sir Bobby Charlton: Fans flock to Old Trafford to pay their respects

Hundreds of football fans gathered at Old Trafford on Sunday to pay their respects to one of Manchester United's, and football's, most famous sons.

Sir Bobby Charlton died on Saturday at the age of 86, prompting an outpouring of tributes.

People lined up to sign a book of condolence and laid flowers and scarves at the foot of the statue of Sir Bobby, George Best and Denis Law - the so-called 'Trinity' of former United players

Someone had climbed the statue, which is now surrounded by fencing, to tie a red United scarf around Sir Bobby's neck.

Garry Carless and his 12-year-old son Joe were at home in Walsall when they heard the news of Sir Bobby's death, and drove up on Sunday to pay their respects.

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Joe said his dad had told him all about Sir Bobby, and how he survived the Munich air crash.

"He helped rebuild the club," he said. "And he's a hero".

Garry summed up his feelings for Sir Bobby: "He was a legend and a gentleman."

"He epitomises the club and its values, and he's one of the reasons United is as big a club as it is."

Others have more personal memories, like the man who said Sir Bobby took time to speak with him when he got a job as a security steward at the club.

And the elderly fan who said he once met Sir Bobby and was struck by his humility and kindness. "He was a great player, and a true gentleman", he said.

Sir Bobby spent 17 years as a player at United and has a stand named in his honour.

Read more:
Never a more popular footballer: Sir Bobby obituary
One of the game's greatest players, and forever a gentleman

One of the messages left outside the ground, from fan group The 1958, said: "History, dignity and integrity is what you gave to our great club. Our promise to you is to make sure it stays."

He was a "hero to millions", Manchester United said in a tribute to "one of the greatest and most beloved players in the history of our club".

The feelings of all those at Old Trafford today were on show. Tears for their hero's passing, and smiles and laughter over shared memories of a man who epitomised the club they love.