Funeral of Jack Charlton to take place today

Funeral of Jack Charlton to take place today
Jack Charlton after the World Cup 1990 Group F match between Republic of Ireland and Netherlands at Stadio La Favorita in Palermo, Italy. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

The funeral of former Republic of Ireland soccer manager Jack Charlton will take place later this morning in north-east England.

He died aged 85 last weekend after a battle with lymphoma and dementia.

Charlton got his first professional contract at just seventeen with Leeds United.

He was first called up for the English national squad in 1957 and was part of the team that beat West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final to win the Jules Rimet trophy.

After management stints in the English leagues, he was picked to manage the Republic of Ireland in 1986.

It marked an unprecedented international run of form for the Boys in Green with a famous shock win over England at Euro 88, and making it to the World Cup quarter-finals in Itlay two years later.

His funeral cortege will leave his family home in Dalton, near Newcastle, at 9am this morning. It will travel the area to allow locals pay their respects before arriving to for a service at West Road Crematorium in Newcastle at a quarter to noon.

His younger brothers Gordan, Tommy and Bobby Charlton are due to attend, along with his wife Pat, daughter Deborah, and sons John and Peter.

Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal players during a minute silence for Jack Charlton OBE prior to kick-off during the Premier League match at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London.
Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal players during a minute silence for Jack Charlton OBE prior to kick-off during the Premier League match at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London.

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

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 on that famous day 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 in his beloved North East.

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

After his death, his family said in a statement: “Jack died peacefully on Friday, July 10 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.”

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

- additional reporting from Press Association

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