The 83-year-old’s condition was confirmed to The Telegraph by his wife, Lady Norma, who hopes making the news public will help others suffering from dementia.
The confirmation comes just two days after Charlton’s former United team-mate Nobby Stiles passed away having suffered from the same disease.
Charlton appeared in 758 games for the Red Devils, making him the club’s all-time top appearance maker until 2008, when Ryan Giggs broke his record.
The legendary forward won three First Division titles, the European Cup and FA Cup with the club between 1956 and 1973 before he left to join Preston.
He also made 106 appearances for England and was the country’s top goalscorer with 49 goals until he was overtaken by Wayne Rooney.
Charlton won the 1966 World Cup with the national team as well as the competition’s Golden Ball.
— England (@England) November 1, 2020
United paid tribute to their former star, who remains on the club’s board, and offered support to his family on Sunday.
“Everyone at Manchester United is saddened that this terrible disease has afflicted Sir Bobby Charlton and we continue to offer our love and support to Sir Bobby and his family,” a statement read.
Former England star Gary Lineker tweeted: “Yet another hero of our 1966 World Cup winning team has been diagnosed with dementia. Perhaps the greatest of them all, [Sir Bobby]. This is both very sad and deeply concerning.”
Yet another hero of our 1966 World Cup winning team has been diagnosed with dementia. Perhaps the greatest of them all, @SirBobby. This is both very sad and deeply concerning.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 1, 2020
Charlton is the fifth member of England’s World Cup-winning squad to be diagnosed with dementia, after his older brother, Jack, who died in July, Stiles, Martin Peters and Ray Wilson.
In October last year, a study into the links between football and the disease funded by the Football Association found that former players are three-and-a-half times more likely to die from dementia than non-players in the same age range.
Source: Goal Sports News