BOYZONE star Ronan Keating paid a heartbreaking tribute to the late Sir Bobby Charlton, who tragically died aged 86, thanking him for “the love and the memories”.
The former Man Utd legend passed away just a week after his birthday after a battle with dementia.
His heartbroken family confirmed today that Sir Bobby “passed away peacefully” surrounded by his loved ones in the early hours of Saturday morning.
A statement from the family said: “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.”
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Following the sad news, Ronan posted a tribute to the late football icon on Instagram.
The picture was taken while he was backstage at the World Cup opening party in Berlin.
In the picture, Ronan looked much younger and was wearing a maroon top with a black logo.
Bobby, meanwhile, wore a light blue shirt, a green tie and a dark blue suit jacket.
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The singer captioned the picture: “Incredibly sad to hear of the passing of the great Sir Bobby.”
“An iconic and worthy ambassador for the game, but more importantly, a great human being.”
“His generosity to our family’s charity @mariekeatingfoundation and my family has always blown me away.”
“Rest, old man. Thank you for the love and memories and God bless you.”
“This picture was backstage at the World Cup opening party in Berlin.”
Ronan’s followers took to his Instagram comments section to share their condolences.
Lucy commented: “Sir Bobby was one of a kind, a true gentleman and an absolute legend. We will miss him dearly.”
Lynne said: “RIP Sir Bobby Charlton.”
Teresa wrote: “Aww beautiful words, such a legend @rokeating xx RIP Sir Bobby.”
While Emma also commented: “Heartbroken. What a legend. I was lucky enough to meet him once too and he was such a gentleman.”
They said: “Sir Bobby was a hero to millions, not just in Manchester or the UK but wherever football is played in the world.”
And Prince William, president of the Football Association, paid tribute to “a true great”.
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He wrote on X: “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.”