SCORER, SCHEMER, LEGEND; Sir Bobby Charlton Was One of the Greatest Players of All Time. but Don't Let the Gentlemanly Manners Fool You - He Set the Standards for All of Us, Says His Former Team-Mate BRIAN KIDD

The Mirror (London, England), October 7, 2017 | Go to article overview

SCORER, SCHEMER, LEGEND; Sir Bobby Charlton Was One of the Greatest Players of All Time. but Don't Let the Gentlemanly Manners Fool You - He Set the Standards for All of Us, Says His Former Team-Mate BRIAN KIDD


Byline: DAVID WALKER

BRIAN KIDD was only seven when he first saw Bobby Charlton play for Manchester United.

Just over a decade later, they were team-mates and both scored as United beat Benfica (right) to become the first English club to lift the European Cup in 1968.

The link between their careers continued two years later when Charlton won his 100th cap for England. In the same game, Kidd won his first England cap.

As Sir Bobby approaches his 80th birthday, Kidd's insight into the sporting legend is revealing.

Kidd says: "There have been some truly great England players. I played with another of them in Bobby Moore. Then you have the older generation of Sir Stanley Matthews and the great Tom Finney.

"But whenever you want to compare England players from different eras you have to accept Bobby Charlton sets the gold standard. Whoever you want to throw in, from any era, you've got to set them against Bobby. He was that good.

"And it's typical of Bobby that when people discuss the truly great players he will recall his old friend Duncan Edwards, who perished in the Munich air crash.

"As Bobby always says, we'll never know how good Duncan might have been."

Kidd chuckles as he recalls one of the great goals of English football, breathtakingly despatched by Charlton.

For youngsters from the YouTube generation you can find it by looking up the 1967 Charity Shield, a 3-3 epic between United and Tottenham.

United were 2-0 and 3-2 down.

Charlton scored their first two goals and his shot was too powerful for Pat Jennings to allow Denis Law to poach United's third.

But the strike that epitomises Charlton's power was United's second. The move starts deep by their own corner flag. Law sprints forward, sidesteps a challenge and releases Kidd.

The young striker drives rom me forward, crosses from the left and creates a moment when time is suspended. There is no United player in the picture. What will happen next? soleft-left net e net.

Charlton arrives to smash a ferocious, first-time leftfoot strike into the Kidd recalls: "I'll let you into a secret. I actually miscued my pass. Everybody thinks I squared it to set up Bobby. It wasn't my best pass but typically, what happens?

"Bobby arrived, smashed it past big Pat and made it look like something we'd perfected on the training ground. We hadn't, but he was so good he could make a bad pass look great.

"He did something similar in the European Cup final against Benfica. I managed to escape my marker and cut the ball back into the box. Technically it wasn't the easiest pass to deal with. But Bobby rifled it first time into the top corner for our fourth goal. He made it look so easy."

Kidd, now co-assistant manager at Manchester City, goes on: "Bobby is revered all over the globe. …

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