Pat Charlton: 'To know Jack was so loved in Ireland means a lot to us all'

The Charlton family have promised an “Irish send-off” for Jack in the future
Pat Charlton: 'To know Jack was so loved in Ireland means a lot to us all'
Pat Charlton pictured with grandchildren John (12), Niamh (10), and Róisín (7) with cards and flowers sent in memory of her husband Jack Charlton.

Jack Charlton's wife Pat has thanked the people of Ireland for their many messages of condolence since his passing.

The funeral procession for Big Jack, the man who delivered Ireland to the promised land of major tournament qualification and landmark wins over England and Italy, was attended by 15,000 people in his native Ashington, though the Charltons acknowledge many thousands more would've attended, including a large Irish contingent, but for coronavirus restrictions.

As it is, Irish fans have made their sympathies known to the family with daily messages of support, cards, and countless bunches of flowers arriving to the Charlton's Northumbria home since Jack's death on July 10.

Over 20,000 fans have also signed a virtual book of condolences on the FAI website for the Charlton family, who have promised an “Irish send-off” for Jack in the future.

“I am so grateful to everyone in Ireland who has taken time out to send us their condolences,” she told FAI.ie. “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. Every day we have received more messages, more cards, and more flowers from Ireland, from England, and all across the world.

“It has given me great comfort to see all those letters arrive from Ireland and to see the reaction to his death right across the country. To know he was so loved in Ireland means such a lot to us all, it really does.”

Jack Charlton and his wife Pat after he received honorary citizenship award from President Mary Robinson.
Jack Charlton and his wife Pat after he received honorary citizenship award from President Mary Robinson.

John Charlton, Jack and Pat's eldest son, who shared so many great nights with his dad as part of the Irish backroom team, says his family intend to travel to Ireland when the time is right to mark Jack's passing.

“We are still coming to terms with my dad’s passing but all the support we have received, here in England and from Ireland, has made such a difference for the family.

“I know thousands of people would have travelled from Ireland to say goodbye to my dad at the funeral but for Covid-19 and I know they marked the day right across Ireland which we are so grateful for.

“The organisers of the event in Ashington on the morning of the funeral have told us there were 15,000 people out on the streets to say their goodbyes. I can only imagine what the funeral would have been like if it wasn’t subject to those Covid restrictions.

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. Some of those who have written to us had met my dad over the years, others are just fans who wanted to say thank you and to sympathise with us all. It means so much to us.

“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.”

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