"the brother who couldn't hit a garage door had suddenly turned into Bobby Charlton"
Bobby Charlton in the back street near his old home - Credit: Newcastle Chronicle & Journal Ltd
One of the most famous footballers of all time, Bobby Charlton
was born (1937) and brought up in Ashington. He was signed up as a schoolboy by Manchester United manager Matt Busby, and played with the team throughout his career. He also played many times for England, and still holds the record as his country's most prolific scorer. He helped England win the World Cup for the only time in their history in 1966. Bobby's elder brother Jack played for Leeds and was in the same World Cup winning team. A brother and sister of the author were at school with Bobby, and the junior school featured in these stories was attended by both the author and the future footballer. Babes
, one of the stories in this collection, centres on the reaction in the town when Bobby Charlton was involved with the rest of his Manchester United team mates in the Munich air disaster
as they travelled back from a European cup tie on 6 February 1958. The background to this story is dealt with extensively in bookmarks pp103-114