Responsible Reds

"My father asked if the players knew the impact that defeats had on fans and how entire weekends could be ruined due to a bad result. Sir Bobby replied that all of United's stars were fully aware of their responsibility in that respect and realised how much the club means to its supporters."

- Adam Marshall,

13/09/2012 12:01, Report by Adam Marshall
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Blog: Chats with Charlton

I was fortunate enough to interview Sir Bobby Charlton this week for The Ambassador's Column in United Review, the official matchday programme.

It was not the first time I had spoken to the great man but the previous occasion was some 23 years ago. I received a telephone call from home during a Sixth Form lesson at school and, naturally, feared bad news - remember this was before the advent of mobile phones!

Instead, my mother relayed a request from the local newspaper to ask if I could interview Sir Bobby later that week. I had spent three weeks with them on work experience during the summer break and, acknowledging the fact that I was such a big United fan, they kindly suggested I could do the honours.

My father, keen to meet one of his favourite players, also attended and we managed to grab a good 20 minutes with a legend of the game. Thinking back now to that time, it seems remarkable to imagine that we were speaking before Sir Alex Ferguson had started his glorious run of success at Old Trafford.

That 1989/90 season would bring the first trophy of his reign - the FA Cup following a replay against Crystal Palace - but our conversation came before the road to Wembley had even been started. In late 1989, the Reds were pretty starved of success despite winning a couple of cups under Ron Atkinson in the first half of the decade.

I remember my nervousness at meeting such a sporting icon, but can recall only two answers from that chat more than two decades ago. For example, I was shocked that Sir Bobby referred to one side as a 'little team' despite them competing for honours at the time. He was proved right over the course of time.

My father asked if the players knew the impact that defeats had on fans and how entire weekends could be ruined due to a bad result. Sir Bobby replied

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