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Soccer-Fans pay tribute to Bobby Charlton at Old Trafford

By Lori Ewing

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Fans of all ages gathered at Old Trafford on Sunday to remember Manchester United great Bobby Charlton, who died on Saturday, lining up to sign a book of condolence and laying flowers and scarves at the foot of the Trinity Statue.

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

Pep Guardiola, manager of city rivals Manchester City, called Charlton's death "a huge loss for his family, for Manchester United, for English football, for European football".

"We have the Premier League that we have and the English football that we are because of this type of person, (the way) they behave on and off the pitch, they make this country an incredible place to live and to play football," he said on Saturday.

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Guardiola added City will prepare a tribute for their league match against United next Sunday.

Other clubs offered condolences on social media.

Hours after learning of Charlton's death, Manchester United won 2-1 at Sheffield United with Diogo Dalot scoring the winner in the 77th minute with a brilliant strike from outside the box - a fitting tribute to Charlton who was famous for his spectacular strikes from distance.

Chants of "One Bobby Charlton" rang out from the away end after the goal.

"When we came to the game we wanted to contribute a little more," Dalot told Sky Sports. "I felt with the win we gave a little bit of joy on a sad day."

Dalot and his team mates said Charlton was a constant presence around the club, visiting the changing room, win or lose.

"(Charlton) lit the place up," said defender Harry Maguire. "You could see the aura that he brought to the dressing room. You could see the amount of respect that the lads, the staff and the club had for him."

Players from both teams wore black armbands for the game.

Manchester United said commemorative plans ahead of the team's Champions League group stage match against FC Copenhagen on Tuesday are being discussed.

(Reporting by Lori Ewing; Editing by Christian Radnedge)