Prince William among those paying respects at Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton's funeral

Watch ITV Granada Reports' special coverage of Sir Bobby Charlton's funeral cortege making its way from Manchester United to Manchester Cathedral.

The Prince of Wales was among thousands who turned out to pay their respects to Manchester United great Sir Bobby Charlton.

As the President of the FA, Prince William was one of the many influential figures to attend the Manchester United legend's funeral.

Before heading to Manchester Cathedral thousands turned out at Old Trafford to bid a final farewell as the cortege drove past.

The 1966 World Cup winner was welcomed with gentle applause as it drove past the stadium’s East Stand and the United Trinity statue, which features Charlton himself, George Best and Denis Law.

Representatives of the club’s under-18 and under-21 teams formed a guard of honour flanking the statue and, behind it, there were numerous black and white photographs depicting Charlton’s long and illustrious career as a player and then a director at the club.

  • ITV Granada Reports Sports Correspondent Chris Hall took a look back at the day Sir Bobby was honoured by the world said goodbye to the footballing legend

High on the glass wall of the East Stand were two huge black and white photographs – one of Charlton in his Busby Babes playing days and the other of him as the club’s elder statesman as a director – flanking the words Sir Bobby Charlton, 1937-2023. Forever Loved.

The cortege made its way across the stadium apron, lined by crowds three or four deep in places, before making a right turn out of the complex to continue its three-mile journey to Manchester Cathedral in the city centre.

Invited guests at the funeral included former United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson, as well as many past and present players, including teammates of Sir Bobby from the club’s 1968 European Cup-winning team.

Former team mates Brian Kidd, Alex Stepney, and Paddy Crearand all attended to pay their respects.

Speaking after the funeral Sir Alex said Sir Bobby was a "wonderful man" crediting him as the reason he came to Manchester United.

Other former footballers who joined Manchester United after Sir Bobby's departure also took attended the funeral. Among them were Peter Schmeichel, Roy Kane, and Nicky Butt.

A host of current first-teamers also attended, including Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Jonny Evans and Tom Heaton.

Current and former managers and coaches attended the service, such as Gareth Southgate, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Michael Carrick, Bryan Robson, and Paul Scholes.

Sir Alex Ferguson arriving at the funeral. Credit: PA Images

The ceremony, which was not filmed or broadcast, included eulogies and tributes from former United chief executive David Gill, former Manchester United Foundation Chief Executive John Shiels, and a personal tribute from Charlton’s family.

Hymns included Abide With Me, which is traditionally sung before the FA Cup final, Jerusalem and a rendition of How Great Thou Art by opera singer Russell Watson.

The family has requested donations to a series of charities close to Charlton’s heart, the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation, the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust, the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s UK.

Norma Ball, wife of Sir Bobby Charlton, leaves Manchester Cathedral after the funeral service. Credit: PA Images

The Ashington-born midfielder, who made 758 appearances and scored 249 goals for the Red Devils in a glittering 17-year playing career, died at the age of 86 in October.

He survived the 1958 Munich Air Disaster which claimed the lives of eight of his fellow Busby Babes and went on to win the World Cup with England in 1966 alongside older brother Jack and the European Cup with United two years later.

The coffin of Sir Bobby Charlton is carried by pallbearers out of Manchester Cathedral after the funeral service. Credit: PA Images

Charlton returned to the club with which he had made his name as a director in 1984 and continued to serve both it and football in general as a much-admired ambassador until his latter years.

His stature in the game was reflected in the tributes which poured in after the news of his death was announced.