Prince William and Sir Alex Ferguson led mourners at Sir Bobby Charlton’s funeral service as prominent figures from the world of football and beyond paid tribute to one of England’s greatest-ever players.

Family, friends, fans and famous players past and present celebrated Charlton’s extraordinary life on Monday afternoon with his funeral cortege passing by Old Trafford before heading on to Manchester Cathedral for a memorial service.

Legendary United boss Ferguson was pictured arriving in windy conditions at Manchester Cathedral alongside former United chief executive David Gill.

Prince William attended the memorial service in his role as Football Association president.

A host of former United players are among 1,000 in attendance, with Paddy Crerand, Alex Stepney, Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Peter Schmeichel and Andrew Cole among those at the service.

Stepney described the 1966 World Cup winner as a ‘classic gentleman of football’ as he walked into the service.

The England manager Gareth Southgate is also in attendance to pay respects to the Three Lions legend.

Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Jonny Evans and Tom Heaton represented the current United squad. Former United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also present.

The former Liverpool and Newcastle United player Alan Kennedy was among a host of representatives from other clubs, with the Real Madrid great Emilio Butragueño also there.

Thousands of fans and well-wishers lined the route of Charlton’s funeral cortege, which passed Old Trafford just after 1.30pm before making its way to Manchester Cathedral for the 2pm service.

Supporters gathered outside Old Trafford applauded as the cortege passed by. Members of United’s under-18 and under-21 teams formed a guard of honour as the hearse drove past.

Ferguson told Sky Sports News after the service: ‘It was very sombre. One of the tributes from his grandson, I thought was fantastic.

‘It’s not easy going up there and speaking. The speakers did a great job.

‘He was a fantastic man. I’m here at United because of Bobby Charlton.

‘The day I came, he supported me 100 per cent, all the way. He was totally behind me and everything we tried to do with youth.

‘I’m here because of Bobby Charlton.’

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