Sunday, December 3, 2023

England World Cup winner Jack Charlton dies, aged 85

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Jack Charlton with the Jules Rimet trophy following England’s win over West Germany in the 1966 FIFA World Cup final

Jack Charlton, a football World Cup winner with England and one of English football’s most popular characters has died aged 85.

A family statement read: “Jack died peacefully on Friday 10 July at the age of 85. He was at home in Northumberland, with his family by his side.

“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.”

As the 835th man to represent the Three Lions, Charlton made his England debut against Scotland on 10 April 1965 in a British Home Championship match that ended 2-2 at Wembley.

The centre-half went on to win 35 caps, scoring six goals, with the highlight being the nation’s only World Cup title to date. The defender played in all six of England’s games at the tournament on home soil culminating in our proudest day on 30 July 1966. That iconic moment was made all the more sweeter for Charlton by playing alongside his younger brother, Sir Bobby, and in total the siblings represented their country together on 28 occasions.

Charlton went on to be a part of England’s squads at the 1968 UEFA European Championship in Italy and the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico with his final cap coming in the latter tournament; a 1-0 group stage win over Czechoslovakia.

He was a one-club man as a player making a record 773 appearances for Leeds United across a 23-year period that spanned the Yorkshire outfit’s most successful era.

After retiring as a player in 1973, Charlton moved into club management with Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United.

However, his love affair with the international game didn’t just end with England as his decade in charge of the Republic of Ireland ensured that he would forever be a legend across both sides of the Irish Sea.

Charlton brought unprecedented success to the Irish team by qualifying for the 1988 UEFA European Championship, their first major finals, before guiding them to the quarter-finals of the 1990 FIFA World Cup and the round of 16 at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

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