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UK News How Jack Charlton captured hearts on both sides of the Irish sea

17:25  11 july  2020
17:25  11 july  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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Jack Charlton , pictured during the FIFA World Cup Final between England and West Germany at "We cannot express how proud we are of the extraordinary life he led and the pleasure he brought to so Jack and Bobby are seen here on opposing sides when Jack 's Leeds United took on Bobby's

Image: Jack Charlton , affectionately known as 'Big Jack ', has died at 85. He was a one-club man Charlton later enjoyed success as a manager for the Republic of Ireland, leading the side to three major tournaments and winning himself honorary Irish citizenship - and the hearts of the nation.

Few have won the affection of football fans in quite the same way as Jack Charlton.

Jack Charlton, Jack Charlton posing for the camera: Jack Charlton was Republic of Ireland manager, long-time Leeds United player and on England's World Cup-winning team © PA Jack Charlton was Republic of Ireland manager, long-time Leeds United player and on England's World Cup-winning team

A member of England's 1966 World Cup-winning team, long-time Leeds United player and later celebrated Republic of Ireland manager, Charlton was loved by both English and Irish fans.

Following the football legend's death at the age of 85, two Sky News correspondents reflect on how he won the hearts of both nations.

Jack Charlton as Ireland manager © PA Jack Charlton as Ireland manager

By Enda Brady, news correspondent

They say you should never meet your heroes because you'll only be disappointed.

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OBITUARY: Strong and uncompromising, Jack Charlton spent 21 years at the heart of the Leeds United defence and A statement from the Charlton family announcing his death expressed how proud they were at their 'much-adored They added he died peacefully with his family by his side .

The pair both played in the side which won the World Cup. A statement from the Charlton family 'He changed everything about Irish football because there was a stage where we hadn't qualified for A third said: 'RIP Jack Charlton - legend of the game and another member of the 66 squad who

I met mine when I was on work experience at my local newspaper in County Wexford in the autumn of 1992 and he changed my life.

a man sitting in a chair: Enda Brady interviewed Jack Charlton as a teenager. Pic: Enda Brady © Other Enda Brady interviewed Jack Charlton as a teenager. Pic: Enda Brady

Jack Charlton was the most famous man in Ireland, the hero of Italia '90, the manager who masterminded our win against England at Euro '88.

Paul McGrath playing a game of football: Members of Ireland's team at the 1990 World Cup quarter-final © PA Members of Ireland's team at the 1990 World Cup quarter-final

And I'd found out that he was up the road from my hometown of Enniscorthy fishing in a river.

At 15 years old I was desperate to be a reporter and landing an interview with "Big Jack" was just too crazy a thing to happen for a schoolboy Ireland fan like me, but it did.

After much driving around with my father (a local Garda), I found Charlton drinking tea and eating sandwiches in Redmond's pub in the small town of Bunclody.

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Step forward Jack Charlton , the nation’s first-ever foreign manager. Charlton had beaten late entrant Bob Paisley, a multiple trophy winner, to the FAI hot seat, and his introduction to the gathered press was a million miles away from the carefully staged managed productions of the modern day.

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He gave me an interview, chatted away about our upcoming qualifier against Spain and was an absolute gentleman.

People in Ireland adored him because he gave us belief.

We had had so many talented footballers and missed opportunities over the years, but he crashed into our lives, told us to believe in ourselves and trust him. We gave him our hearts and he gave us the world.

Bobby Moore, Jack Charlton are posing for a picture: Jack Charlton (centre) celebrates winning the World Cup in 1966 © PA Jack Charlton (centre) celebrates winning the World Cup in 1966

The night before the World Cup quarter-final against Italy in Rome in 1990 is my favourite Jack Charlton anecdote.

a group of people playing football on a field: The Charlton brothers - Bobby (L) and Jack - in action for their rival clubs Manchester United and Leeds United in January 1969 © PA The Charlton brothers - Bobby (L) and Jack - in action for their rival clubs Manchester United and Leeds United in January 1969

The players were getting ready for bed when word went round that Charlton had got hold of a keg of Guinness from the Irish embassy and the team would be allowed two pints each.

The Italian police watched in amazement as the Irish partied - 24 hours before the biggest game of their lives. Needless to say, we narrowly lost 1-0.

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  BBC Breakfast's Dan Walker expresses sadness after tragic death BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker shared a touching tribute to England World Cup hero Jack Charlton after his death on Friday

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That was Jack Charlton's style. He enjoyed the craic, even though he was an outsider to begin with.

But in the world of international football, so were we. And he took us on a journey that we will always, always be grateful for.

By Nick Powell, sports editor

And then there were four.

Now the only survivors from England's 1966 World Cup winning 11 are Jack Charlton's younger brother Sir Bobby, 82, Sir Geoff Hurst, 78, Roger Hunt, 81, and George Cohen, 80.

Hurst's goalscoring earned the biggest headlines, but as the 1966 final reached the 89th minute, the defence had conceded only two goals all tournament.

Then came West Germany's dramatic equaliser, extra time, Hurst's hat-trick - and the rest is hysteria. "Some people are on the pitch," and all that.

The people on the pitch may have seen Jack Charlton kneeling on the turf.

"I was saying a little prayer," he said.

He was giving thanks to have been part of it all. He had only made his England debut the previous year, just short of his 30th birthday.

Not blessed with the flair of his brother ("our kid", Jack called him), nor the silky skills and golden locks of his central defensive partner, captain Bobby Moore, Charlton was an old-fashioned no-nonsense centre half of the "they shall not pass" variety.

Jack Charlton, icon of English and Irish football alike, dies at 85

  Jack Charlton, icon of English and Irish football alike, dies at 85 Few players or managers have enjoyed World Cup glory with two countries but Jack Charlton, who has died aged 85, was held in rare affection by English and Irish football supporters. The World Cup may have brought the best remembered moments of his career but Charlton had no shortage of success at club level during nearly 45 years as a player and manager. Charlton, a tall, no-nonsense central defender, was part of Alf Ramsey's England team whichThe World Cup may have brought the best remembered moments of his career but Charlton had no shortage of success at club level during nearly 45 years as a player and manager.

Last time I saw him, Jack was talking about starting his own business. However, later, science subjects captured his interest and his academic results were more impressive. He became a student of University College in Oxford and found the academic work there not difficult at all.

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Tall and athletic enough to be almost unbeatable in the air, strong in the tackle, smart in positioning, he was manager Sir Alf Ramsey's undisputed choice as number five.

He was modest in public but in private he knew his own worth, which was recognised in the award of Footballer of the Year in 1967.

The English public never forgot.

As the FA said in tribute: "He was guaranteed an affectionate and warm welcome wherever he went."

Absolutely right.


Video: Shilton: Charlton loss 'very sad day' (Sky News)

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