Jack Charlton – the legend who helped change the face of Irish international football passed away peacefully at his home in Ashington, Northumberland on Friday afternoon. He is survived by his wife Pat and three children, Deborah, John and Peter. Aged 85, the man affectionately known as ‘Big Jack’ had suffered a long term illness involving both lymphoma and dementia.
His 23 year club playing career was entirely with Leeds United where he made a total of 773 appearances. He was a member Of the England 1966 World Cup winning team and made a total of 35 international appearances scoring 6 goals.
He entered club management with Middlesbrough and had later spells with Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United.
He was something of a surprise choice as Ireland manager in 1986 but his impact leaves a legacy that will be extremely difficult to emulate. Qualification for the European Championship Finals of 1988 in Germany followed by qualification for the World Cups of 1990 in Italy and 1994 in the USA provided the Irish Nation with a sense of unequalled pride which will live long, indeed forever, in the memory of those of us who made the journey and travelled the road with the Legend.
‘Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam’