The Northumberland born, World Cup winning, former Newcastle United and Middlesbrough manager Jack Charlton has passed away.
The death of the 85-year-old, who was born in Ashington, was announced by his family in a statement on Saturday morning with tributes being paid to the former Republic of Ireland boss from across the world.
Charlton had been diagnosed with lymphoma in the last year and was also battling dementia.
“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 wtalks of life. He was a thoroughly honest, kind, funny and genuine man who always had time for people.”
Born in 1935, Charlton grew up alongside his brother Bobby who went on to play for Manchester United. Jack and Bobby were just one part of a very special footballing family.Although Jack’s father was a miner and had little interest in football, his mother Cissie certainly did and would regularly play football with her children, as well as taking Jack to watch both Ashington and Newcastle United play – with Jack a lifelong Magpies supporter. One of his uncles was legendary Newcastle United centre forward Jackie Milburn – however, his four other uncles all played football at a high level too. Stan played for Chesterfield, Leicester City and Rochdale, while Jack, George and Jim all played for Leeds United.
Leeds United would be where Jack spent his playing days as a centre-half, making 629 appearances for the Elland Road outfit over a 21-year career, scoring 70 goals in the process. He also won the first division title, second division title, the FA Cup, the League Cup and a community shield with Leeds.
The greatest trophy Charlton ever won was the World Cup with England in 1966, lining up alongside his brother Bobby at Wembley. England won the match against West Germany 4-2 after extra time.
After hanging up his boots, Jack started his managerial career on Teesside, taking the reigns at Middlesbrough and earning Boro promotion to the first division with seven games to spare. He earned himself a manager of the year award in the process, the first time such an honour had been bestowed on a manger outside the top division. During his spell in charge of Middlesbrough, he also won the Anglo-Scottish Cup.
After leaving Middlesbrough in 1977, Charlton joined Sheffield Wednesday before returning to Middlesbrough for a short stint as caretaker manager following the sacking of Malcolm Allison.
Family connections would help steer the direction of his next managerial role – uncle Jackie Milburn convincing him to take charge of Newcastle United. With Kevin Keegan having just retired, Milburn was lucky to be able to call on the emerging talents of Chris Waddle and Peter Beardsley. Newcastle finished 14th in what was Jack Charlton’s only campaign in charge of his boyhood team, the former defender left the club ahead of the 1985-86 season following fan unrest over the failure to sign striker Eric Gates, who instead opted to join arch-rivals, Sunderland.
After leaving Newcastle, Jack Charlton took up the post of Republic of Ireland national team manager in 1986. He guided the Republic to the country’s first major finals when they reached Euro 88 before then leading them to the World Cup in Italy in 1990, where his team progressed to the quarter-finals before a 1-0 defeat by the hosts. After narrowly missing out on qualification for Euro 92, the Republic of Ireland secured a place at the 1994 World Cup following a tense 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland. His team were knocked out by the Netherlands in the Round of 16.
However, his exploits as Ireland’s manager hadn’t gone unnoticed and Charlton was awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin in 1994, the first time the honour had been given to an Englishman since 1854. After missing out on qualifying for Euro 96, Jack Charlton resigned as manager saying he felt he’d got all he could out of his squad.
Away from football, Jack Charlton was a keen fisherman. He was awarded an OBE in 1974 before being given honorary Irish citizenship in 1996.
He is survived by his wife Pat, who he married in 1958 and his three children, John, Deborah and Peter. He was also a grandfather and a great-grandfather