LONDON, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Bobby Charlton broke a long silence over the reasons for a bitter family rift with his brother Jack, in an interview before next month's release of his autobiography.
The Charlton brothers, team mates when England won the World Cup in 1966, have been estranged for many years but in an interview published in The Times magazine on Saturday, Bobby said he was stung by his older brother's criticism of his wife a decade ago, calling it disgraceful.
He said when he sees him at reunions of England players they do talk, but he is not looking for a reconcillation -- and they don't meet up at Christmas.
'Jack came out in the newspapers saying things about my wife that were absolutely disgraceful,' Charlton, 69, said ahead of the publication from Monday of extracts from his book 'My Manchester United Years'.
'Ask anyone that ever met my wife: 'hoity-toity' is not a word they'd use.'
Bobby, who won 106 caps and holds the scoring records for both England (49) and Manchester United (198) added: 'My brother made a big mistake. I don't understand why he did it. He couldn't have possibly known her and said what he said. I was astonished.'
Jack, who won 35 caps for England and later coached Ireland, had publicly criticised his brother's wife Norma after she and the Charltons' mother Cissie had a falling out.
Bobby said his wife had tried to get along with his mother.
'(My mother) was a strong character. My wife is also a very strong character ... There was a clash and it just never went away really. We stopped seeing each other. At the end of the day you have to have your priorities and mine was my wife.'
Charlton said he felt no sorrow over the estrangement with his brother and said no one else should either.
'I don't think anyone should feel sad about it. He's a big lad, I'm a big lad and you move on. I'm not going to ruin the rest of my life worrying about my brother and I've no doubt he's the same. If we see each other we'll say hello.
'I'm sorry it happened but life goes on.'
In the book, Charlton also said he is still haunted by the 1958 Munich air crash in which 23 passengers died including eight Manchester United players. He survived with minor injuries.
'It still reaches down and touches me every day,' Charlton writes. 'Sometimes I feel it quite lightly, a mere brushstroke across an otherwise happy mood. Sometimes it engulfs me with terrible regret and sadness.'