Sir Bobby Charlton spent the last three months of his life battling dementia in a care home, an inquest into his tragic death revealed.
The Manchester United legend, who also won the World Cup with England in 1966, passed away last month at 86 years old following an accidental fall. Charlton's widow, Lady Norma, shared that he had been living at the Willows care home since July, receiving respite care.
Tamara Simmons, the care home manager, told the court that Charlton "needed support with all aspects of daily living" and was "unsteady on his feet, especially when standing from a seated position". The court heard that his bed was kept as low as possible with mats and motion sensors around it due to fears that Charlton's restlessness could lead to him falling.
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Senior coroner Jacqueline Devonish ruled his death as accidental after he suffered a fall at the care home on October 16. The England icon lost his balance as he stood up from a chair and struck a windowsill and "possibly a radiator" as he fell. Care home staff performed a full body check, but did not find any visible injuries immediately after the fall.
Charlton was later taken to Macclesfield General Hospital after swelling was discovered on his back and it was found that he had fractured his ribs. The decision was then made to put him on end-of-life care and Charlton passed away five days later.
The coroner recorded: "Retired Manchester United legendary footballer Sir Bobby Charlton was admitted to Macclesfield Hospital at the age of 86 following a fall at his care home on 16 October 2023." "He sustained rib fractures as he stood up and fell against a window sill due to being unsteady on his feet. He had resided at The Willows since July 2023 initially for respite and last two months of life."
"He continued to mobilise as usual following the fall until it was noted that he had swelling to his back. He was examined by the home's GP and transported to hospital where he was placed on end of life care and sadly passed away on 21 October 2023 at 03:50 hours."
A memorial service to celebrate Charlton's life is set to be held at Manchester Cathedral on November 13, with a procession to the cathedral due to go past Old Trafford "for a moment of reflection and provide an opportunity for fans to say a final farewell to a true Manchester United legend".
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