Happy birthday Sir Bobby!

Denis Law hailed Sir Bobby Charlton as “one of the best players ever” as the England and Manchester United great turned 80 today.

A man rightly revered by club and country, a World Cup winner, European champion and all-round gentleman, he has a brief – if unsuccessful – stint as Preston North End manager and player/manager.

Charlton scored 49 goals in 106 appearances for his country and, most pertinently, spearheaded them to World Cup glory on home soil in 1966.

It was the peak of a career in which he served with distinction for 17 years at United, with his all-time appearance and scoring records only falling to Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney in recent years.

His achievements have been recognised in a variety of ways. He was knighted in 1994, the South Stand at Old Trafford was renamed in his honour and a statue of Charlton alongside Red Devils team-mates Law and George Best is situated just outside the stadium.

The trio scored 665 goals between them for United and Law loved playing with Charlton as much as he loved the man himself.

“What a fantastic player, what a fantastic guy,” the former Scotland striker said.

“He deserves everything he has been awarded with. He is one of the best players ever.

“We’ve always had connections along the way. You never forget people like Sir Bobby. It’s just that he’s done so much for his country, done so much for United. He’s probably one of the best known around the world.

“Don’t forget, the television wasn’t about in those days like it is today so the fact that he is known all around the world just shows how great a player and person he is.”

Law especially admires how Charlton stood strong after surviving the 1958 Munich disaster in which eight of his United team-mates perished.

“The Munich disaster rebounded right around the world and, you know, you just think, ‘It’s just so close – I must go and see these guys’,” said Law, who was then playing for Huddersfield and went to United’s first match after the tragedy. “I think a ticket was about 50p but we paid about four quid for it. It was an expensive evening.

“To think a few years later I joined the club and was playing with Sir Bobby and George Best, and the team that we had – we just had a wonderful time.

“It’s not easy, but it is easier to play the game when you play alongside players like Sir Bobby and George.”

Law also credits Charlton for helping him to his own exceptional United goals tally of 237 in 404 matches, which places him third on the club’s all-time list.

“When Bobby had the ball I knew where it was going,” Law said. “He had such a strong shot, really, that when he was outside the penalty area lining up for a crack at the goal – I knew that the keeper might save it, but there was a fair chance he might drop it because it was hit so hard.

“We had a good relationship. He’s one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet.”

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Oyston Mill plans for student flats are going ahead

A proposal for a major new student development in the city has been given the green light.

Oyston Mill is to see 259 new flats created instead of the range of studios, workshops and offices which currently inhabit it.

Councillors on the Preston City Council planning committee voted overwhelmingly for the plans on Thursday (5 October), by 11 to one.

One councillor, Pauline Brown who represents Ingol, voted against the Oyston plans.

Planning consultants Cassidy + Ashton said: “The proposed use is considered to be an appropriate use within the existing building, and would bring an existing building which is largely vacant back into use. The proposed student accommodation would also be sited in a sustainable location with good transport links to Preston City Centre, would be close to existing facilities, and within walking and cycling distance of the University.”

Oyston Mill sits on the corner of West Strand and Watery Lane in Ashton-on-Ribble.

A number of previous schemes for the Oyston building have been approved in the last decade but no changes have been made.

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M6 back open at Preston after major crash at Junction 32

The M6 at Preston has reopened after Junction 32 northwards after a major crash.

Broughton roundabout the bypass were gridlocked as drivers seek alternative routes northwards.

Two cars are thought to be involved in the crash which took place shortly before 6am between Junction 32 and 33.

There are delays on the M6 northbound back to Junction 30 and the A6 and Broughton roundabout are packed with traffic as the bypass and A6 are used as a diversion route to take vehicles up to Junction 33 to join the northbound motorway.

Two lanes were reopened shortly before 8.30am on Wednesday (11 October) to release trapped traffic. The motorway itself reopened around 9.30am.

A police spokeswoman said: “We were called shortly before 6am to reports of a collision on the M6.

“It looks like two cars and four HGVs were involved.

“One person has a leg injury and another has a stomach injury.”

Firefighters sent three crews from Preston and Fulwood to the scene, along with a rescue team from Bamber Bridge.

Two people were released from vehicles using cutting equipment.

Drivers are being warned not to use the hard shoulder to cut up the inside of queues as they approach Junction 32.

A car has also broken down close to Junction 31A on the northbound carriageway, causing further delays.

Drivers heading through Preston city centre to avoid the queues are being caught up in problems on Garstang Road. The traffic lights are out on the A6 at the junction with Blackpool Road near Moor Park.

Traffic disruption is expected until around 10.30am.

Stagecoach is warning its 40, 41, 940 and 941 services are being heavily delayed due to the incident. Preston Bus is also reporting delays to services in and around the city centre.

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