Manchester United and England great Bobby Charlton has been diagnosed with dementia.
Charlton’s wife Norma confirmed the diagnosis to the Telegraph and gave consent for the 83-year-old’s condition to be reported to raise awareness of the condition.
United said in a statement: “Everyone at Manchester United is saddened that this terrible disease has afflicted Sir Bobby Charlton.
“We continue to offer our love and support to Sir Bobby and his family.”
Charlton, a survivor of the 1958 Munich air disaster, won the World Cup with England in 1966 and was his country’s record goalscorer until Wayne Rooney overtook him in 2015.
The former midfielder also won three league titles at United and scored two goals in the final of their first European Cup win during a 17-year playing career with the Red Devils.
Charlton later became a director at United and in 2016 the Premier League club renamed the South Stand at Old Trafford in his honour.
His brother Jack, who was also part of England’s team in 1966 and managed the Republic of Ireland, died in July having also been diagnosed with dementia in later life.
There have been calls in recent years for dementia in football to be examined more closely as a possible industrial disease related to head trauma, and greater support offered to former footballers afflicted with it.
United were to honour Charlton’s former team-mate with club and country, Nobby Stiles, who also suffered from dementia and died on Friday, ahead of their Premier League fixture against Arsenal on Sunday.