David Beckham has revealed he was given the middle name Robert in honour of England and Manchester United legend Bobby Charlton, who celebrated his 80th birthday on Wednesday.
Charlton, one of the most revered players in English football history, won the World Cup on home soil in 1966 and the European Cup with United two years later.
David Robert Joseph Beckham, who also enjoyed a celebrated career with United and England, spoke to Manchester United’s in-house TV station about his recollections of Charlton.
“I was lucky enough to meet him when I went to the Bobby Charlton Soccer School at the age of 10 when I first came here, and I won it when I was 11,” Beckham told MUTV.
“It was a dream to meet him because he was my dad’s favourite player and my middle name Robert is after Sir Bobby.
“He would always try to help the young players. When you play for a club and you have ex-players that come and talk to you that are involved with the team, it means a lot.
“But when you have Sir Bobby Charlton come up to you and say ‘well done’, or ‘this is how you can do something better’, or ‘this is how you represent the club’, it means something.
“It means so much when you have someone of that stature and with that experience who is a legend at the club you support. He means so much to so many people, especially to Manchester United fans and England fans.”
Charlton, who survived the 1958 Munich disaster, in which eight of his United team-mates died, scored 49 goals in 106 appearances for England and his all-time appearance and scoring records at Old Trafford have only been eclipsed in recent years.