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Personal details
Born: 8th May 1935, Ashington, Yorkshire, Great Britain.
Position: Centre-half
Height: 6ft 2in
Weight: 12st 3lb

Playing Career
Leeds United: May 1952 - May 1973

Managerial Career
Manager: Middlesbrough May 1973 - April 1977
Manager: Sheffield Wednesday October 1977 - May 1983
Caretaker Manager: Middlesbrough March 1984
Manager: Newcastle United June 1984 - August 1985
Manager: Republic of Ireland February 1986 - 1994
England International: 35 caps
World Cup winners: 1966
Footballer of the Year: 1967
Manager of the Year: 1974
Football League champions: 1969
Division Two champions: 1964, 1974
Division Three promotion: 1980
FA Cup winners: 1972
FA Cup runners-up: 1965
League Cup winners: 1968
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup winners: 1968
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup runners-up: 1967, 1971

In the early years of his playing career Jack was overshadowed by the success of his younger brother, Bobby Charlton. At 15 years-of-age he had worked down the pits in his native north east and in 1952 had trials with Leeds United, despite turning down an initial offer to join the club, he did eventually sign professional forms in 1952. He made his debut for the club in 1953 when still only 17 years old. His career was interrupted by National Service but on his return, he established a regular first team place, following the departure of John Charles to Juventus.

He played under a string of managers at Elland Road before Don Revie’ s appointment as player-manager in 1961. Revie helped him develop into a quality centre-half and in 1965 he won his first England cap, shortly before his 30th birthday. With Bobby also in the England team they became the first brothers to play for England this century. They both won World Cup winners’ medals in 1966. Revie made Leeds United into one of the most formidable teams in Europe and Charlton shared in most of that success until his retirement as a player in 1973.

His decision to end his playing days had been prompted by an offer to manage Middlesbrough and in his first season in charge, Middlesbrough ran away with the Second Division championship, finishing 15 points ahead of second-placed Luton. Middlesbrough became an established First Division side and Charlton stayed manager until April 1977 when he resigned after four years in charge.

Wednesday had struggled at the start of the 1977-78 season and in October, Charlton was appointed manager, just six months after saying he needed a rest from football. In his first season Wednesday finished mid-table and over the next two years he developed a team that eventually won promotion in 1980. This was achieved with a combination of shrewd signings and the emergence of a number of promising youngsters. After finishing 10th in the Second Division in 1980-81, Wednesday narrowly missed out on promotion in 1981-82, finishing just one point behind third-placed Norwich, who were promoted. The following season 1982-83 Wednesday finished sixth and were narrowly beaten by Brighton in an FA Cup semi-final. Shortly after the Highbury semi-final Jack announced he was leaving the club.

Whatever success Jack had achieved as a manager with Middlesbrough and Wednesday was nothing to what he gained in his next appointment with the Republic of Ireland. He was approached by the Irish FA in February 1986 with a view to managing the national side on a part time basis. Irish football was not generally respected even in its own country. Rugby Union and the Gaelic sports were more popular but Jack Charlton, aided by Maurice Setters, who had been his assistant at Hillsborough was to change all that. Charlton sifted through the Football League, looking for players with a sufficiently tenuous link to qualify as Irish. His method worked and in 1988 they qualified for the European Championships in Germany where to prove it was no fluke, they beat England 1-0. This was followed by qualification for the 1990 World Cup in Italy, an audience with the Pope and a quarter-final defeat by the host nation. With the home nations failing to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the USA, Ireland were the only representative from the British Isles. Although they eventually lost to Holland in the heat of Orlando, for Ireland the finals will be remembered for the 1-0 victory over the eventual runners-up, Italy, in New York.

Jack Charlton is a national hero in Ireland and always will be. He brought Irish football back to life. I have met him 3 or 4 times. Once, at the world cup in 1990, Italy, which I attended every Irish game in the campaign, thanks to my father. It was also my father who arranged for us to stay in the same hotel as the Irish football team, and to meet Jack himself.

The man can be described easily in one word.


Info gleaned from various sources.

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