HE was a footballing giant known as a World Cup hero in two countries.
Jack Charlton, whose death at 85 was announced yesterday, lifted the Jules Rimet trophy with England in 1966 and went on to manage the Republic of Ireland to their most memorable games in the tournament.
Jack Charlton, brother of Bobby Charlton (right), has died aged 85Credit: PA:Press Association
The footballing legend was known as a World Cup hero in two countries Credit: Getty
Jack’s family announced his passing on Friday following his battle with dementia and lymphomaCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
Jack died on Friday with his family around him at his Northumberland home following a battle with dementia and lymphoma.
It means just five of England’s starting XI from 1966 are still with us. They include his younger brother Sir Bobby, 82.
The world of football and beyond paid tribute yesterday to a man known not only for his presence on the pitch but for his character and his humour off it.
A statement from the England squad read: “We are devastated by the news that Jack Charlton, a member of our World Cup-winning team of 1966, has passed away.
“Our deepest sympathies are with Jack’s family, friends and former clubs.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Jack Charlton was a football great whose achievements brought happiness to so many.”
Irish president Michael D Higgins said: “He leaves a legacy of outstanding leadership of a group of players of diverse talents which he moulded into the successful team that captured the imagination of the nation.”
And Taoiseach, Micheal Martin, added: “So saddened to hear of the passing of Jack Charlton, who brought such honesty and joy to the football world.
He personified a golden era in Irish football — the Italia 90 campaign being one of pure joy for the nation. He gave us magical memories. Thank you, Jack.”
‘POPE WOULD HAVE F***ING SAVED THAT’
Born in 1935 in Ashington, Northumberland, Jack, who made 35 appearances as a defender for England, worked down the mines as a teenager before going for a trial at Leeds United.
He had grown up in a footballing family — his mother was cousin to Newcastle great Jackie Milburn, while his uncles Jack, George, Jimmy and Stan all played professionally.
He once said: “It left me no choice but to be a footballer.”
He spent his entire 21-year playing career at Leeds, making a club record 773 appearances.
Before retiring, in 1973, he had won every domestic honour going, including the league in 1969.
Leeds United Supporters’ Trust tweeted yesterday: “Another massively sad day for the fans and club as we lose another legend. RIP Big Jack.”
After his playing days, Jack went on to carve out a successful managerial career, twice leading the Republic of Ireland to qualify for the World Cup in the Nineties.
And for many, it will be Charlton’s legendary adventures with the team that will be remembered as much as his 1966 glory. In 1990 he led the Republic to a quarter-final clash with hosts Italy.
Jack was born in 1935 in Ashington, NorthumberlandCredit: Collect
He worked down the mines as a teenager before going for a trial at Leeds UnitedCredit: Mirrorpix
He spent his entire 21-year career playing at Leeds and before retiring, he had won every domestic honour goingCredit: Mirrorpix
The footballing legend married his wife Pat in 1958 and they had three children, John, Deborah and PeterCredit: PA:Press Association
Before the match he joked that if they won they should go to Rome to meet the Pope.
The next thing, they were swept off for a pre-match visit to The Vatican.
But the excitement was not enough to keep Jack awake and he drifted off as Pope John Paul II read a lesson for 20 minutes, followed by six other bishops.
Jack later said: “I found it very hard to stay awake. The Pope was on the third bit of his blessing and he was looking right at me and he had his hand in the air.
“As I woke up, I thought he was waving at me so I stood up and waved back.”
During the visit, the Pope also told goalie Packie Bonner he would be keeping a close eye on him in the game as he had been a keeper himself when younger.
Packie went on to make a howler in the match which allowed Italy to score and win 1-0.
I loved the bones of the man.
After the game, Jack praised the team and told Packie to get into the shower.
As he trudged off, Jack lit a cigarette, turned to midfielder Andy Townsend and said: “The Pope would have f***ing saved that.”
Jack also led Ireland to the 1994 World Cup in the US, where they got their revenge on Italy with a 1-0 win. When he resigned in 1995, it brought to an end a remarkable era.
Last night the Irish FA, paid tribute to “the manager who changed Irish football for ever”.
Former Ireland striker John Aldridge added: “What a football man. Loved and adored. The best manager I was lucky to play for.”
Paul McGrath tweeted: “Father figure to me for ten years, thanks for having faith in me.”
And Mick McCarthy, who captained Ireland at Italia 90, said: “I loved the bones of the man.”
Despite his success, Jack remained humble, keeping his 1966 medal, and a set of World Cup coins with the players’ faces on, in a coal bucket next to his fireplace.
Jack was awarded an OBE in 1974, but was never knighted, as his brother and fellow World Cup winner Bobby was.
David Beckham paid tribute to the legendary sportman
Prime Minister Boris Johnson saluted Jack and offered his sympathies
A statement from the England squad said the team was devastated by his passing
ENGLAND’S WORLDCUP STARTING XI
Gordon Banks (1937-2019, 81)
Jack Charlton (1935-2020, 85)
Bobby Moore (1941-1993, 51)
Ray Wilson (1934-2018, 83)
Alan Ball (1945-2007, 61)
Martin Peters (1943-2019, 76)
Manager, Alf Ramsey (1920-1999, 79)
George Cohen, 80
Nobby Stiles, 78
Bobby Charlton, 82
Geoff Hurst, 78
Roger Hunt, 81
It was an omission that baffled many. Former Republic of Ireland and Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton last night said: “He was a larger-than-life character.
“The word legend is used too much in football but not for Jack — for what he’s done domestically with Leeds, winning the World Cup, which he should have been knighted for.
“I’ve still never understood that. I think that’s an absolute disgrace.”
Big Jack, who famously appeared in a 1995 Shredded Wheat advert, was also remembered for his kindness, philanthropy and bluff one-liners.
When he caught one of his Ireland players drinking coke, he would reprimand them, saying: “What are you drinking that s**t for? Guinness is better for you.”
‘TYPE OF PLAYER YOU NEED TO WIN WORLD CUP’
The keen fisherman also had the mantra: “Nothing is given to you. You’ve got to work for it.”
Lady Elsie, the widow of his pal Sir Bobby Robson, said: “Jack was a great friend and a wonderful supporter of our cancer charity, The Bobby Robson Foundation.
“He’d come out to events and meet with fundraisers and people were always so thrilled to meet a World Cup winner. He had such a way about him. He’d just make us all smile.”
The Bobby Robson Foundation added: “Jack Charlton was a great football man, a great supporter of our work and a great friend to Sir Bobby.”
He is survived by wife Pat, who he married in 1958, and their three children, John, Deborah and Peter.
A family statement said: “As well as a friend to many, he was a much-adored husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
“We cannot express how proud we are of the extraordinary life he led and the pleasure he brought to so many people in different countries and from all walks of life.
“He was a thoroughly honest, kind, funny and genuine man who always had time for people.
“His loss will leave a huge hole in all our lives but we are thankful for a lifetime of happy memories.”
Granddaughter Emma Wilkinson added: “He enriched so many lives through football, friendship and family. Our family will miss him enormously.”
As a mark of respect, there was a minute’s silence before every Premier League match yesterday and the players wore black armbands. It will be same for games today.
Jack’s England team-mate, Sir Geoff Hurst, the hat-trick hero of that 1966 final, said yesterday: “Jack was the type of player and person that you need in a team to win a World Cup.
“The world of football and the world beyond football has lost one of the greats. RIP old friend.”
Jack Charlton dead at 85 – England 1966 World Cup winner, Leeds United legend and Ireland favourite passes away
GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org More