Thousands to line the streets as Manchester says farewell to Sir Bobby Charlton – route and times

Sir Bobby survived the 1958 Munich Air Disaster which claimed the lives of eight of his fellow Busby Babes and went on to win the World Cup with England in 1966 alongside older brother Jack and the European Cup with United two years later.

He then returned to the club with which he had made his name as a director in 1984 and continued to serve both it and football in general as a much-admired ambassador until his latter years.

Widely regarded as one of the best ever to play the game, he died last month aged 86 with his family at his side. His funeral takes place today with a private service being held at the Manchester Cathedral.

Around 1,000 invited guests, including Sir Alex Ferguson, members of the clubs 1968 European Cup-winning team, players from the current first-team squad and leading sporting figures, are expected to attend the service, which is scheduled to start at 2pm and will be led by Canon Nigel Ashworth.

Beforehand, the cortege will make its way down Chester Road to Old Trafford arriving at around 1:30pm with thousands expected to come out to pay their respects and say a final farewell to a man who was a hero to so many.

He is commemorated commemorated along with former team-mates Denis Law and George Best in the United Trinity statue outside the stadium.

The cortege will pass through a guard of honour comprising members of the clubs Under-18 and Under-21 squads and the statue before setting off for the cathedral via the A56, Trinity Way, Chapel Street and Victoria Bridge.

The private ceremony, which will not be filmed or broadcast, will include eulogies and tributes from former United chief executive David Gill, former Manchester United Foundation chief executive John Shiels and a personal tribute from Charltons family.

Hymns will include Abide With Me, which is traditionally sung before the FA Cup final, Jerusalem and a rendition of How Great Thou Art by opera singer Russell Watson.

A United statement said: It is expected that up to 1,000 guests will attend the cathedral to pay their respects to Sir Bobby and celebrate his incredible life as a husband, father, grandfather and, of course, as one of the finest footballers this country has ever produced.

The Charlton family and Manchester United would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and respect towards Sir Bobby.

The family has requested donations in lieu of flowers to a series of charities close to Charltons heart, the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation, the Childrens Adventure Farm Trust, the Alzheimers Society and Alzheimers UK.

An inquest earlier this month heard Sir Bobby died in hospital following an accidental fall at a care home. Tributes flooded in from the world of football and beyond following his death on Saturday, October 21. Thousands signed a book of condolence both online and in person at Old Trafford.

Whilst the Trinity Statue became a sea of flowers, shirts and scarves left in his honour. There were also tributes at United&aposs games against Sheffield United, FC Copenhagen and Manchester City.

In a eulogy published in the matchday programme ahead of the derby against City, Sir Alex Ferguson wrote: Its no surprise to me that weve seen tributes to Sir Bobby from everywhere in the world, on every TV channel and in every newspaper, because he was without question the greatest English player of all time.

People loved him because of all those thunderbolt goals, but it was more than that. My dad used to say that humility in success is a sign of greatness, and that was Bobby. He never used to boast about his own achievements; it was always about the team and the club.