THE death of Bobby Charlton aged 86 on Saturday has been mourned by football fans across the country and world.

The Manchester United and England legend will be remembered as one of the greatest players of all time and his death represents the sad loss of another link with a bygone age in British football.

Charlton's rise included several years in Shropshire's Nesscliffe Training Camp.

Charlton spent several years stationed at Nesscliffe near Oswestry following World War Two and it was while he was stationed at the Shropshire military depot he made his debut for Manchester United.

Charlton would join another legend, Duncan Edwards, in being stationed at Nesscliffe in 1955.

Border Counties Advertizer: Bobby Charlton (right) during England's World Cup final celebrations in 1966.Bobby Charlton (right) during England's World Cup final celebrations in 1966. PA.

Charlton told "Duncan was a year older than I was and he took charge of me the moment I arrived at the army camp. He had my billet arranged and everything.

"When he showed me to the billet, he noticed there was a spring sticking out of the bed, and said to me ‘we can’t have that."

“It was a great big iron bed, but he hoisted it over his shoulder, mattress, frame and all and went off in search of a better one for me.”


Charlton joined Edwards in representing the barracks and military sides while also travelling to Manchester to play for their club during weekends as well as fulfilling their military duties with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

Charlton wrote in his autobiography of his frustrations with military life while he pursued a career at Manchester United and found an ally in a company sergeant major who agreed to give him leave passes and transport in return for tickets for United's home matches in Europe.

“He was a great football fan, had a car and was eager to make a deal,” Charlton recalled in his autobiography.

“You get the tickets, Bobby, and I’ll get you the leave passes and drive you up to Manchester whenever United have a home game in the European Cup.”

While based in Nesscliffe, Charlton broke into the United first team, just five days short of his 19th birthday on October 6, 1956.

Two years later both Charlton and Edwards were part of the Busby Babes team which boarded a flight in Munich which failed to take off and careered off the runway.

Edwards was among the 23 who died while Charlton survived and recovered to play a leading role in England's march to the 1966 World Cup and England's all time record goal scorer until 2015.