Jack Charlton’s family send their thanks to Irish supporters
More than 20,000 people signed a virtual book of condolences organised by FAI
A woman throws a flower on the hearse as the funeral cortege for Jack Charlton passes through his childhood home town in Ashington. Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
The family of Jack Charlton have sent their thanks to the many Irish supporters who sent condolences and messages of support to them since the death of the former Republic of Ireland manager on July 10th.
More than 20,000 people signed the virtual book of condolences organised by the FAI and a number of tricolours were carried by members of the estimated 15,000 who lined the route of the funeral cortege last week.
“I am so grateful to everyone in Ireland who has taken time out to send us their condolences,” said Charlton’s widow Pat in a statement issued through the association here on Tuesday. “It means so much to me and to the family to know that Jack meant so much to everyone in Ireland and I would like to share this message with the Irish people.
“Jack loved his time with the Irish team and it is clear from all the cards, letters and flowers that have arrived at our house just how much the people of Ireland loved him as well.
“I cannot tell you how much that means to me and to John, Deborah and Peter and all the family as we try to come to terms with Jack’s passing.
Charlton’s eldest son, John, who forged strong personal connections with Ireland during his father’s time with the national team acknowledged that the travel restrictions associated with coronavirus had deprived many more Irish people of the opportunity to be present for the World Cup winner’s funeral ceremony but said that the family still hopes to celebrate Charlton’s life and time with the Republic of Ireland here when circumstances allow.
“I know thousands of people would have travelled from Ireland to say goodbye to my dad at the funeral but for Covid-19,” he said, “and I know they marked the day right across Ireland which we are so grateful for.
“We saw the Irish tricolours in Ashington and I know from reading the letters and the cards we have received from Ireland, that many fans would have travelled over for the funeral if they could have.
“I want to thank them all on behalf of the family. We will get over to Ireland when the time is right and with the help of the FAI, we will have an Irish send-off for my dad. We all look forward to that but in the meantime, we want to thank you all for everything over the last fortnight. Your support has been really special for us all.”