‘The most humble of men’ – Bryan Robson pays tribute to Manchester United icon Sir Bobby Charlton

Thousands lined the streets to pay their respects and watch the funeral procession make its way through Manchester en route to the Cathedral, taking Charlton past Old Trafford for one last time. United academy players formed a guard of honour outside the stadium as the hearse passed through.

1,000 guests were inside the Cathedral to pay their respects to Charlton, who died last month at the age of 86. Guests included past and present United players, as well as Sir Alex Ferguson, England manager Gareth Southgate and the Prince of Wales, plus many other famous faces.

GALLERY: Manchester remembers Sir Bobby Charlton

Charlton, who will be laid to rest at a private committal service on Tuesday, touched the hearts of millions, both as a footballer and as a gentleman. He will forever hold a special place in the heart of the United family.

And for former midfielder Robson, who was one of several former Reds in attendance at the funeral service, Charlton will always be remembered with great fondness, not least for the advice he handed down to the now-66-year-old after joining United from West Bromwich Albion in 1981.

“I&aposll never forget when I signed for Manchester United, as a record transfer, I knew there was pressure to deliver,” said Robson, penning an emotional tribute for the Mail. “Yet Sir Bob was the first to come up to me, shake my hand and say &aposWelcome to Manchester United, son. It&aposs a great club, but most importantly, make sure you enjoy yourself.&apos

“He didn&apost have to do that, the standing of the man, but he knew like anyone else I&aposd be nervous and he made sure I felt at home immediately. I found out he did the same with every new signing. It was that touch of class he always had about him.

“A terrific footballer, one without parallel at Manchester United, a fierce competitor, yet always the great gentleman.”

Robson continued: “The reception he received on Monday was unbelievable. I could only describe the service as full of class and that was what you came to expect with Sir Bob.

“It&aposs a sad day for the family, for Manchester United but also for football because he was a player that spread the name of the sport around the globe. All the greats held him in such great respect.