World Cup Winner Jack Charlton Dies Aged 85

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Jack Charlton, who clinched the World Cup with England and managed the Republic of Ireland, has died aged 85.

A central defender, Charlton featured 35 times for England, including all the six matches at the 1966 World Cup.

Jack Charlton

Born in the Northumberland colliery village of Ashington on 8 May 1935, the eldest child of miner Bob and his wife Cissie, a cousin of Newcastle legend Jackie Milburn, he learned his football with Ashington YMCA and Ashington Welfare before joining the ground staff at Leeds in 1950.

He made a record 629 league appearances for Leeds United, and won several major honours, including the First Division title in 1969, the FA Cup in 1972 and two Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.


He was in his late 20’s when he first turned out for England in a two all draw with Scotland in April 1965, and little more than a year later he was instrumental in their 4-2 World Cup final victory over Germany.

Jack Charlton

At the final whistle, the 6ft 3in defender sunk to his knees before embracing his younger brother. He said: “There’s a picture of me at the end down on my knees. I don’t remember if I was saying a prayer or just knackered.

“I had chased after Geoff Hurst to give him a hug and chased our kid [Bobby] to give him a hug and then collapsed to my knees, so I suppose I must have been knackered.”

On retiring as a player Charlton pursued coaching with a lot of success. He steered Middlesbrough to promotion after finishing at the top division as champions in 1974, and in 1980 led Sheffield Wednesday into the Championship before inking a deal with Newcastle.

Jack Charlton

He is best remembered though as a manager for his tremendous work with the Republic of Ireland. He took the team to Euro 1988 and capped that by guiding them to the 1990 and 1994 World Cups. Ireland got to the quarter-finals in 1990 before slumping to Italy, whom they upset four years later.


Charlton was awarded the freedom of the city of Dublin in 1994 in recognition of his work and stood down as manager after the team lost a play-off to reach the 1996 Euro finals. He was 60 at that point and retired.


Charlton had a strained relationship with his brother Bobby but the pair put their differences aside at a reunion in Liverpool during the BBC Sports Personality Awards in 2008 whenJack presented his sibling with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

His final England cap came at the 1970 World Cup but he continued playing until 1973 for Leeds, for whom he made 772 appearances.

Jack Charlton

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