Ghanaian supporters group hold a funeral for Sir Bobby Charlton over 4,000 MILES away from Manchester farewell… as organiser reveals personal reason for paying homage to the Man United and England legend
- Charlton’s funeral in Manchester took place at the cathedral in front of hundreds
- Thousands lined the procession route to say final goodbye outside Old Trafford
- It’s a three-team title race… Toney could lead Arsenal to glory: It’s All Kicking Off
A funeral for Sir Bobby Charlton was held in Ghana on the same day as the Manchester United and England icon was laid to rest at his ceremony in England.
The event took place on Monday in Tesano, a suburb of the country’s capital Accra, and saw fans turn out to perform the funeral rites for Charlton at an outdoor venue festooned with pictures of the 1966 World Cup winner.
Supporters at the event dressed in funereal garb with touches of United red, and there were songs sung, musical performances, and speeches given by the event organisers.
The funeral – over 4,000 miles away from Charlton’s procession through Manchester watched by thousands of fans – was spearheaded by a group known as the Ghana Supporters Union, with its head, Abraham Boakye, especially keen to pay tribute to the 86-year-old, who passed away on October 21.
Boakye is also known as ‘One Man Supporter’, and shared with Sikka Sport that his moniker had been given to him by the Three Lions legend.
A funeral ceremony for Sir Bobby Charlton was held in Accra on the same day as the Man United icon’s service in Manchester
Mourners gathered to pay tribute to the 1966 World Cup winner and celebrated his life with music and speeches
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In 1995, Boakye was the only fan who travelled to watch the Ghanaian youth side feature in the U17 FIFA World Cup in Ecuador, and was pointed out by Charlton on commentary duty.
‘I was the only Ghanaian supporter during Ghana’s match against Brazil which had about five thousand of their supporters in attendance,’ Boakye told UTV. ‘But we were able to win the match and claim the title which was brought to Ghana.
‘This man was on the BBC, and he said “this lone ranger; one person supporting a whole nation”. When I got back to Ghana, the media had reported about “One Man Supporter in Town” and I have since held on to (the name). It was based on that, that I have build the National Supporters Union’.
Boakye shared that he had been keen to show his ‘appreciation’ in the wake of Charlton’s death.
He later added that he had tendered invitations to the event to ‘the Ghana Football Association and the Sports Ministry’ but that neither institution had sent a representatives.
In videos of the event, a number of supporters were seen moved to tears by the funeral rites as they remembered the fallen star.
In Manchester, luminaries attending Charlton’s funeral included Sir Alex Ferguson, Gary Lineker, Prince William, and former Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.
Before arriving at Manchester Cathedral for their service, Charlton’s funeral procession first ringed Old Trafford, where thousands of supporters had gathered to pay their respects, clapping the cortege as it passed them by.
Charlton (pictured left with Pele in 1995) is said to have given the event’s founder Abraham Boakye his nickname
4,000 miles away in Manchester on Monday, Charlton was laid to rest following a ceremony at Manchester Cathedral
Thousands of supporters turned up to line the route as the cortege passed Old Trafford
Sir Alex Ferguson was among the mourner and he shared that Charlton had been one of his main supporters whilst managing Man United
Due to international commitments only four of Man United’s current players – Tom Heaton, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, and Jonny Evans – were able to attend the service, but a number of the club’s former players including Steve Bruce, Roy Keane, Alex Stepney, Wes Brown, Wayne Rooney, and Bryan Robson represented the Red Devils in the congregation.
After the service, Ferguson shared details about the ‘sombre’ atmosphere and praised the tributes paid to Charlton, including one from his grandson.
‘It’s not easy going up there and speaking,’ Ferguson added. ‘The speakers did a great job.’
‘He was a fantastic man. I’m here (at) United because of Bobby Charlton.
‘The day I came, he supported me 100 per cent, all the way. He was totally behind me and everything we tried to do with youth.’
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