Yesterday morning was very, very sad, after the loss of Norman Hunter and Trevor Cherry recently another one of ‘Don’s Boys’ made his last trip up the tunnel to join his teammates in heaven. Jack Charlton passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday surrounded by the family he loved.
The tough uncompromising centre half that started his career back in the 1960’s was a cornerstone of Revie’s Leeds defence. Alongside Norman Hunter he was the ‘wall’ that many teams just couldn’t get past.
The lad from the North East, brother of Bobby was not one to let his teammates shirk from their responsibilities and or by chance Leeds conceded a goal it was never his fault and he let his fellow defenders know it.
Jack is the record appearance holder at the club and one of the highest goal scorers in a career that took in the swinging sixties and the smiley seventies. He won the League Cup, Charity Shield, Fairs Cup, League Championship and did it with a huge smile on his face and a fag in his mouth.
He was of course a World Cup winner in 1966, part of Alf Ramsey’s defence alongside Bobby Moore. His tears at the final whistle showed a gentle side of his character not many strikers ever saw in a game they played against him.
After he finished his playing career he had success at managerial level with Middlesborough twice, Sheffield Wednesday and then took the Republic of Ireland to the Quarter Finals of the World Cup in 1990. He became a respected football pundit after this and was never shy to give his opinion on football and his beloved Leeds.
We will all miss the wonderful smile and the flat cap that made him such a man of the people.
Goodnight God Bless Big Jack, sleep well and rest easy.
Our sympathies go out to his family at this sad time.
By Keith Ingham