Hundreds line streets to pay final respects to Jack Charlton

Former Republic of Ireland manager’s funeral took place in Ashington on Tuesday

Hundreds of people have gathered in Ireland and England to pay their respects to World Cup winner and former Republic of Ireland manager Jack Charlton. Video: Reuters/Spectee

 

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Ashington, England, to pay their respects to former Republic of Ireland football manager Jack Charlton on Tuesday.

The funeral cortege left his home near Newcastle and slowly passed through the town where he and his brother Bobby spent their formative years, spending countless hours in back lanes and parks, honing their skills which took them to the top of the game.

At Walkinstown Roundabout in Dublin - where huge celebrations took place during Italia 90 - fans gathered to sing and pay tribute to Ireland’s most successful manager.

Charlton, who was part of England’s 1966 World Cup winning team, died earlier this month aged 85.

Tributes came in from across the football world for the one-club Leeds United legend, famed for his uncompromising defensive work.

He went on to be revered in Middlesbrough after guiding the club into the old first division as champions, but it was leading the Republic of Ireland which sealed his managerial reputation as one of the greats.

Irish fans took Big Jack to their hearts, and the feeling was mutual, as he led the country to two successful World Cup campaigns in 1990 and 1994.

Charlton was the eldest son of miner Bob and his wife Cissie, who went on to have three more boys.

Jack Charlton’s coffin is taken into West Road Crematorium, in Newcastle for his funeral. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Jack Charlton’s coffin is taken into West Road Crematorium, in Newcastle for his funeral. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

He followed his father at the pit for a brief spell before leaving Northumberland to join the Leeds United ground staff aged 15.

He stayed there for a remarkable 23 years, a spell broken only by National Service, playing a major part in the club turning from also-rans into a major European force.

He was almost aged 30 when he made his England debut, but the late developer turned good at the just the right time, and was one of the Wembley heroes in 1966.

Outside football, Charlton loved his country pursuits and was a keen fisherman.

He remained a hugely popular figure in his retirement, with many fans sharing stories of how he always had time for supporters when he was out and about.

He is survived by wife Pat and their three children, John, Deborah and Peter.

Charlton had been diagnosed with lymphoma in the last year and also had dementia.

After his death, his family said in a statement: “Jack died peacefully on Friday, July 10th at the age of 85. He was at home in Northumberland, with his family by his side.

Fans also gathered at Walkinstown Roundabout to pay tribute. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Fans also gathered at Walkinstown Roundabout to pay tribute. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

“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.”

A private family service was held in Newcastle with a limited number of mourners due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

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