Fancy That ! 10 Surprising facts about Bobby Charlton

He's got a World Cup winner's medal, he had the most famous comb-over on the planet, and his brother Jack called him "Wor kid!". These are everyday facts that we all know about the footballing legend that is Bobby Charlton.

But here's 10 that you might not...

  • 1 Not a lot of people know this, but Bobby's famous comb-over was actually a wig, given to him by Yul Brynner on a short trip to Didsbury in 1959.
  • 2 Bobby's real hair, known to close friends as 'Wild Pete', only came out on Monday nights, at the local Tarot reading school he ran in Altrincham. To this day Bobby's missus, Norma, still doesn't know the truth behind his real hair.
  • 3 At birth Bobby's mother had triplets, not twins. The other famous brother, Eddie, also entered the sporting arena, disguised as an Australian snooker player. Speaking on the subject years ago, Eddie said "I probably could have been as good as my brothers at football, but then again in reality I wasn't. I couldn't get the hang of those half-time oranges". Philosophical stuff from Geordie Eddie.
  • 4 Bobby used to put his trademark rocket shots down to built-in hydraulic rams in both legs, triggered every time he was 25 yards from goal as he whispered the magic words "Thundercats are go". 30 years later Bobby would make 4 billion pounds by selling on the idea for the cult cartoon, inspired by those magic words and Norma's cowardly pet cat, Snarf.
  • 5 Everyone knows that Jackie Milburn was a famous uncle of Bobby's, but not many people know of his other uncle from that great north-east region - a local celebrity and Tyne-Tees TV game show host named Anton Dech, famous for his catchphrase "Pickle my cabbage!".
  • 6 Speaking of game show hosts, Bobby's long-running friendship with 3-2-1 front-man Ted Rogers came to a dramatic end in 1998, when Bobby revealed live on the Richard and Judy Show that Ted's lightening quick 3-2-1 finger movement was actually done with mirrors.
  • 7 During the 1970 World Cup quarter-final, Sir Alf Ramsey (dad of Gordon), told Bobby at half time that he was going to pull him off if they were beating Germany. Bobby's now famous response "Bloody hell Alf, we normally only get an orange at Man U!" has been mimicked ever since in changing rooms up and down the country.
  • 8 Bobby is now a world-wide respected ambassador of the beautiful game, reaching the far corners of the planet preaching words of wisdom about this great sport. But when he's back home relaxing, he loves nothing more than getting his feet up and watching endless repeats of Blakes 7, Timothy Lumsden sitcom Sorry, or the hit film of the time that coined his nickname... Spartacus.
  • 9 Just before he signed a schoolboy contract with Man Utd, Bobby had the chance to tour the North-East as a double act with his brother Eddie, performing their their ventriloquist routine "Eddie and his beer-loving small brother". However, a childhood speech impediment put pay to this, as Bobby could say "Bottle of beer" when his mouth was shut, far too well for the paying public of the Geordie nation.
  • 10 The last, and possibly most surprising, fact about our Bobby is that he has no thumb on his right hand, and had to learn to hold his after-game pint with his left. Gottle of Geer anyone?