Over the years, the Queen would occasionally cross paths with the Manchester United football team. And one of the most memorable occasions was way back in 1998, on a royal visit to Kuala Lumpur. Sir Bobby Charlton, ever the gentleman, stepped in to assist Her Majesty as she signed two footballs for those in attendance…
Back in 1998, in a break with royal tradition, the Queen agreed to sign two Manchester United footballs presented to her by some young supporters.
And Charlton, per the club’s official website, revealed afterwards that she was unsure of what to do – leading for him to intervene.
“She didn’t know what to do so I just helped to hold the ball,” he’s quoted as saying.
“This is a fantastic honour for Manchester United.”
The club also confirmed the balls were returned to the official United supporters’ club in Kuala Lumpur, where they ‘had pride of place in the clubhouse’.
It came four years after the Queen had given Charlton a knighthood, with the 84-year-old receiving the honour after Sir Matt Busby and before Sir Alex Ferguson.
The former United star was also present for Her Majesty’s 80th birthday in 2006, with a celebration put on at Buckingham Palace.
And the Queen gave Charlton a winners medal after England beat West Germany in the final of the 1966 World Cup, too.
Over the course of her 70-year reign, there were other occasions where the Queen and the Red Devils crossed paths.
After taking the throne in following the death of King George VI, she presented United players with runners-up medals after they lost to Aston Villa in the 1957 FA Cup final.
The following year, she spoke of being ‘deeply shocked’ after the tragic Munich Air Disaster, where 23 people – including eight of the club’s players – lost their lives.
Her Majesty was present at Wembley as United won the FA Cup in 1963, just five years after the tragedy of Munich.
And, after the turn of the millennium, she handed out OBEs to David Beckham and Ryan Giggs – who received the awards in 2003 and 2007 respectively.
Many are in mourning after the Queen’s death, with the 96-year-old serving with dignity, grace and dedication throughout his reign.
And King Charles III has promised to serve the country with the same distinction as his late mother.
“As the Queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation,” he said.
“And wherever you may live in the United Kingdom, or in the realms and territories across the world, and whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.
“My life will of course change as I take up my new responsibilities.
“It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply. But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.”
And he added: “In a little over a week’s time we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth and indeed a global community, to lay my beloved mother to rest.
“In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example.”
The Queen’s funeral will take place on Monday.
Many businesses with close as they allow their employees to pay respects to Her Majesty.
It’s been confirmed that United’s match with Leeds on Sunday is off as Manchester police allocate more resources to London.
However, their Europa League clash with Sheriff is still set to go ahead – with that match being played overseas.