World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton will lead Team GB’s squad into the opening ceremony at the 18th Maccabiah Games next month.
The Manchester United legend, 71, will be Great Britain ’s special guest and will travel to Israel with wife, Lady Norma and fellow United director Mike Edelson and his wife, Jacky.
He will attend a number of Maccabiah events. The visit will culminate with him leading the British delegation into the Ramat Gan Stadium in front of 40,000 people before taking his seat in the Presidential box alongside the Prime Minister and President of Israel.
He said: “As the third largest sporting event in the world, the Maccabiah has been something I have long been aware of. To be asked to lead the British delegation into the stadium is an honour and one I am looking forward to.”
David Pinnick, GB head of delegation, said: “I speak on behalf of all 500 members of the GB delegation when I say how excited I am at the prospect of Sir Bobby leading us out. He is a true sporting legend.
“Israel are also excited at his arrival and his involvement elevates the Maccabiah which is the third largest sporting event of its kind.”
On July 10, Sir Bobby and his party, which includes four Manchester United Foundation coaches, will attend a coaching session with Football 4 Peace at the Wingate Sports Institution in Netanya.
He said: “I am also extremely proud to be in Israel not only taking part in the Maccabiah Games, but also helping to unite Arab and Jewish communities in Israel through football.”
Having survived the Munich plane disaster in 1958, Sir Bobby won three league titles, the FA Cup, the European Cup and European Player of the Year.