Sir Bobby Charlton died after accidentally falling and hitting the windowsill at a care home where he was battling dementia, an inquest has heard.
The 1966 World Cup-winning England legend lost his balance as he rose from his chair and crashed into a window sill and “possibly a radiator”, Cheshire coroner’s court heard.
At that time, employees performed a full body examination and found no visible injuries. First, they found that the 86-year-old’s mobility did not appear to be affected.
But they later noticed swelling on his back and paramedics were called to The Willows in Knutsford, Cheshire, where he had been receiving respite care since July.
He was then taken to the local hospital before being transferred to Macclesfield General Hospital.
Sir Bobby Charlton died after breaking his ribs in a fall in a care home, an inquest heard
Sir Bobby Charlton pictured with his wife Norma at an event in Germany in September 2014
Paramedics were called to The Willows in Knutsford, Cheshire, where he had been receiving short-term care since July
Tribute to the late Sir Bobby Charlton next to his statue outside Old Trafford
Fans hold up cards to create a mural in memory of Sir Bobby Charlton ahead of the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City
A chest X-ray and CT scan revealed he had broken his ribs and was likely to develop pneumonia.
Doctors agreed he should receive end-of-life treatment in hospital, the inquest heard. He died on October 21, five days after his fall, at the age of 86.
Sir Bobby is survived by his wife Lady Norma, their two daughters Suzanne and Andrea and grandchildren.
The talented footballer, who was born in Ashington, Northumberland on October 11, 1937, is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time and played an integral role in England’s 1966 World Cup win.
Following his death, Sir Geoff Hurst – who scored a hat-trick in England’s 4-2 win over West Germany at Wembley – is now the only surviving member of the squad.
It was heard that Sir Bobby was “unsteady on his feet, particularly when standing” due to his dementia.
The inquest, carried out in Warrington, revealed Sir Bobby had an extensive medical history which included an appendectomy, gout, a urine infection and chest infections.
The investigation revealed that he was also infected with Covid-19 in September.
Tamara Simmons, manager of the care home, said Sir Bobby “needed support in all aspects of daily life.”
The investigation revealed that his bed was as close to the floor as possible and that safety mats and motion sensors were in place as he was likely to roll out of bed due to his restlessness.
Coroner Devonish concluded Sir Bobby’s death was an accident.
She gave the cause of death as: traumatic hemopneumothorax; A fall; Alzheimer’s/dementia.
Bobby Charlton (r.) celebrates England’s victory at the 1966 World Cup. Left to right: Jack Charlton, Nobby Stiles, Gordon Banks (back), Alan Ball, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore, Ray Wilson, George Cohen and Bobby Charlton
Sir Bobby Charlton represented his country against Wales in April 1970
Bobby Charlton with his wife Norma and their two daughters Suzanne and Andrea in their home garden in the 1960s
After Sir Bobby’s death was announced, tributes to the “giant of the game” poured in from across football and public life.
The son of a miner, he joined United as a schoolboy and was part of the legendary Busby Babes team.
He survived the Munich air disaster when the plane carrying them back to Manchester crashed, killing 23 people, including eight players and three staff members.
A decade later he was part of the great United team that won the European Cup in 1968.
He was also part of the legendary England team that won the World Cup in 1966, along with his older brother Jack.
A statement from Sir Bobby’s family said last month: “It is with great sadness that we share the news that Sir Bobby passed away peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning.” He was surrounded by his family.
“His family would like to thank everyone who contributed to his care and the many people who loved and supported him.” “We ask that the family’s privacy be respected at this time.”
Manchester United said “words will never be enough” as they mourn “one of the greatest and most popular players in our club’s history”, while England described Charlton, who previously held the record as England’s all-time top goalscorer and United as a “true legend of our game”.
Prince William, the FA president, described Sir Bobby Charlton as “a true great who will be remembered forever” in a personal message on social media.
Sir Bobby and his brother Jack, who died three years ago, hug after an England v West Germany match in 1985. The brothers had a bitter feud but reconciled in later life
This is believed to be the last photograph of Sir Bobby Charlton dated February 20, 2021. He received a vaccine to protect him from COVID-19 while celebrities tried to encourage as many people as possible to get vaccinated
In 1958, aged just 20, Charlton (in a Munich hospital) survived the Munich air disaster, which tragically killed eight of United’s Busby Babes and a total of 23 people
A scarf is wrapped around the statue of Sir Bobby Charlton at Old Trafford following his death last month
The Prince of Wales said: “Sir Bobby Charlton. First division champions. European champion. World Champion. Gentleman. Legend. A true great who will be remembered forever. Thank you, Sir Bobby. “W,” said the tribute posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called him “one of the greatest players in sport”.
In the days following his death, tributes were paid at football stadiums across the country, most notably at Old Trafford, where fans laid thousands of scarves and flowers and held up cards to create a mural in his memory ahead of last weekend’s Manchester derby.
Sir Bobby, who won 106 caps for the Three Lions, scoring 49 goals, was diagnosed with dementia in 2020.
His death also sparked a call for action from Alzheimer’s Research UK, which said there are “no treatments available in the UK to slow, stop or prevent the diseases that cause dementia”.
Chief executive Hilary Evans said: “Following the tragic news that he has died from dementia, our thoughts are with the family of Sir Bobby Charlton and everyone who loved him.”
“Sir Bobby was a hero and so many of us have great memories of his impressive career on the pitch.”
“We will miss him greatly and we extend our condolences to his family.”
“It is absolutely devastating that Sir Bobby’s final years of life were marred by dementia, but sadly this is the case for almost a million people in the UK today.”
“At Alzheimer’s Research UK we are determined to change the outcome for all those affected by dementia by finding a cure, and the terrible news about Sir Bobby makes it clear that we must not waste a moment.”