LONDON – Sir Bobby Charlton was unable to receive the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award in person at the Laureus World Sports Awards in London this evening. Sir Bobby felt unwell on Sunday and returned to Manchester earlier today for minor surgery.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said ‘Sir Bobby is fine, but it was felt he should go back to Manchester. He is very annoyed not to be here to receive this Award. I’ll be taking the Statuette back to Old Trafford for him. He loves the work he does for Laureus and I know how delighted he is to have received this tribute.”
Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, said: “On behalf of my fellow members I would like to congratulate Sir Bobby on this well-deserved Award. He is one of the most enthusiastic Academy Members and has done some great work over the years to help young people. He was in good form in our Academy Meeting and contributed on a range of issues. It’s a shame we were not able to congratulate him in person. Next time we are all together we will be giving him a huge round of applause on behalf of the sports fans of the world.”
The Patron of Laureus is Nelson Mandela. At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, President Mandela said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.” This has become the philosophy of Laureus; the driving force behind its work.
Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good. Laureus is composed of three core elements – the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Laureus World Sports Awards – which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and use sport as the means to promote social change.
The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy are: Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Ian Botham, Sergey Bubka, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Yaping Deng, Marcel Desailly, Kapil Dev, Mick Doohan, David Douillet, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick, Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Mika Häkkinen, Tony Hawk, Mike Horn, Miguel Indurain, Michael Johnson, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Dan Marino, John McEnroe, Edwin Moses (Chairman), Nawal El Moutawakel, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, Alexey Nemov, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Steve Redgrave, Vivian Richards, Monica Seles, Mark Spitz, Daley Thompson, Alberto Tomba, Steve Waugh and Katarina Witt.