Sir Bobby Charlton, who helped England win its only FIFA World Cup in 1966, has died aged 86 ©Getty Images

Sir Bobby Charlton, who helped England win its only FIFA World Cup in 1966, has died aged 86.

The former Manchester Untied player and Ballon d'Or winner passed away after a battle with dementia, a week after celebrating his birthday.

"It is with great sadness that we share the news that Sir Bobby passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning," a statement from his family read. 

"He was surrounded by his family. His family would like to pass on their thanks to everyone who has contributed to his care and for the many people who have loved and supported him.

"We would request that the family’s privacy be respected at this time."

Charlton scored 49 goals for England in 106 games.

He played for Manchester United from 1956 to 1973, scoring 249 goals in 758 games.

The forward won three league titles, a European Cup, and the FA Cup with the Red Devils.

In 1958, he survived the Munich Disaster that killed 23 people, including eight of his teammates.

After retiring in 1976, he served as Board member at Manchester United for 28 years, starting in 1984.

Following his death, Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in England's 4-2 win over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final, remains the only living member from the team. 

"Manchester United are in mourning following the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the greatest and most beloved players in the history of our club," read a tribute from Manchester United.

"Sir Bobby was a hero to millions, not just in Manchester, or the United Kingdom, but wherever football is played around the world.

"He was admired as much for his sportsmanship and integrity as he was for his outstanding qualities as a footballer; Sir Bobby will always be remembered as a giant of the game."

Born in Ashington, Northumberland in 1937, Charlton was a product of the youth academy at Manchester United.

He made his first-team debut against Charlton Athletic in October 1956, aged 18, and was part of the popular Busby Babes under Scottish manager Sir Matt Busby.

Along with Denis Law and George Best, Charlton played a key role as Busby began rebuilding his team following the Munich Disaster.

He won a first European Cup for United in 1968, scoring twice in the final against Benfica.

His appearance and goal-scoring record at United was broken by Ryan Giggs on 963 games and Wayne Rooney on 253 goals.

Tributes poured in from all corners after his death, with fellow World Cup winner Hurst naming him as "one of the true greats".

"We will never forget him and nor will all of football. A great colleague and friend, he will be sorely missed by all of the country."

Gary Lineker said Charlton was "a truly wonderful footballer and genuinely lovely man" while Gary Neville said he was the "greatest English football player and Manchester United's greatest ambassador".