Manchester United's Sir Bobby Charlton died after 'accidentally' falling at care home, inquest hears

Sir Bobby Charlton died at the age of 86 in Macclesfield General Hospital on 25 October 2023. Credit: PA Images

Manchester United and England great Sir Bobby Charlton died in hospital after accidentally falling at his care home, an inquest has been told.

The 86-year-old suffered rib fractures as he stood up and fell against a window sill, on 16 October, the hearing at Warrington Coroner’s Court was told on Wednesday.

He died in Macclesfield District General Hospital five days later.

Senior coroner for Cheshire Jacqueline Devonish concluded Sir Bobby's death was accidental.

Sir Bobby died after a fall at his care home. Credit: PA Images

The footballing icon was living and receiving respite care in The Willows, in Knutsford, a nursing home caring for patients with dementia, the inquest heard.

On 16 October, Sir Bobby stood up from his chair, lost his balance, and fell - striking his head on a windowsill "and possibly a radiator." He was said to be "unsteady on his feet".

He continued to mobilise as usual following the fall until it was noted that he had swelling to his back. He suffered rib fractures.

Sir Bobby was assessed by medics at the care home before he was taken to hospital where he was put on “end-of-life care”. He died on 21 October.

The causes of death were given as “traumatic haemopneumothrax, a fall and Alzheimer’s dementia”.

Charlton made 758 appearances for United and won the European Cup in 1968, as well as the World Cup with England in 1966.

In his later years, he lived with dementia - the same illness that claimed the life his brother Jack Charlton in July 2020.

A memorial service celebrating Sir Bobby's life will take place at Manchester Cathedral at 2pm on Monday 13 November.

Tributes left at Old Trafford for Sir Bobby. Credit: PA Images

United said in a statement: “The service will pay tribute to Sir Bobby’s incredible life as a husband, father, grandfather and, of course, as one of the finest footballers this country has ever produced.

“The procession to the cathedral will pass by Old Trafford for a moment of reflection and provide an opportunity for fans to say a final farewell to a true Manchester United legend.

“Further details on the memorial service and the procession will be communicated in due course.

“The family will then hold a private funeral ceremony for Sir Bobby and have requested privacy around the arrangements for this.”

Bundles of flowers, scarves, shirts and messages have been left at the United Trinity statue since his death.

The club say memorabilia has “been carefully relocated to the Old Trafford museum and will join the tributes left by fans following the passing of Sir Matt Busby in 1994”.

The flowers will be composted and used in the gardens at United’s Carrington training ground, with the plastic from the tributes removed and recycled.

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