Bobby Charlton pays tribute to his friend Mandela
England World Cup hero Sir Bobby Charlton has paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, who has died aged 95.
Mandela was a keen football fan and forged a bond with Charlton following his release from prison.
The pair met frequently when Charlton visited South Africa, and the former Manchester United forward has been quick to add his own tribute to the worldwide outpouring of emotion.
"I was deeply saddened to hear the news of Nelson Mandela's passing," said Charlton.
"My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the people of South Africa and whilst we will all mourn his death we should also celebrate his life - and what a life!
"Mr Mandela worked tirelessly all of his life for racial equality and his legacy will live on way beyond our lifetime.
"I feel blessed to have lived during his life span and privileged to have met him on a number of occasions.
"God bless my friend, Madiba."