Wayne Rooney and Sir Bobby Charlton
Sir Bobby Charlton with Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney Getty Images

Manchester United are to rename Old Trafford's South Stand after club icon Sir Bobby Charlton. The 78-year-old footballing legend made 758 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring a record 249 goals, and is widely recognised as one of United's best-ever players.

The unveiling of the renamed stand will take place before United's home game against Everton on 2 April. The historic event will be attended by key figures from Sir Bobby's life and the wider world of football.

"This is a great honour and I am very proud – for myself and my family – that the club has chosen to name the South Stand after me. Manchester United have been such an important part of my life and I have so many wonderful memories of this Theatre of Dreams," Robson told United's official website.

"As a player, I remember the goals and the marvellous players I played with. As a director, I have seen some outstanding matches and players. It is a special place indeed.

"I would like to thank everyone connected with Manchester United. So many people work so hard to keep us at the top; their effort should never be forgotten. But most of all, I would like to thank Norma – my wonderful wife – and my family for the support and encouragement they have always provided. This is for them."

Robson's achievements were also hailed by United's executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, who said: "Bobby is, quite simply, the most iconic figure in English football history. A player, a diplomat, a gentleman and a tireless worker for charity, he represents everything that is good about football and Manchester United.

"It has been a privilege to know him and humbling to work alongside him for the last 10 years. Renaming the South Stand, which contains both the Directors' Box and the old players' changing rooms, is a fitting tribute to all that Bobby has contributed to the club both as a player and a director."

Robson joined United as an apprentice in 1953 and continues to serve the club as a director.