Belfast Telegraph

Friday 27 November 2015

Jack Charlton tells Stephen Ireland to grow up, say sorry and play or 'bugger off'

Published 27/10/2008

Outspoken soccer legend Jack Charlton issued his own brand of advice to controversial Irish player Stephen Ireland this weekend: "Say you are sorry or bugger off."

Speaking about the on-going drama surrounding the 'will he, won't he play' Stephen Ireland saga, the former Irish boss said the player needed to apologise.

"I don't agree with him, he needs to apologise. Come and play and say you're sorry for what you said and did -- or bugger off and don't bother," he said.

Shocked that any young player would not want to don the green jersey and play for his country, Big Jack said he wouldn't have put up with such antics in his day.

He expressed surprise at the question mark over Ireland's willingness to play for the national side.

"No one ever tried that with me. I wouldn't have stood for it.

"It was different in my day. Most of the lads, if you left them out of the group, would phone up and ask could they come over for the weekend anyway. So instead of having 22 players in the squad, we would have more.

"Nobody ever said to me they didn't want to play. That was unheard of," he added.

Jack (73) was in Dublin to sign copies of his new DVD Italia Revisited on Friday. The popular sports figure met fans at HMV on Henry Street, Dublin.

Large crowds turned out to meet the famous Geordie and to wish him well with his latest venture.

The legendary manager also found time to slam RTE soccer pundit Eamon Dunphy. Speaking during an interview on 2fm, Charlton said there was "no love lost" between the two men.

"Who takes any notice of him? It's not as if he's an expert on the business is it? He criticises everything. Every time he looks at somebody he criticises," he said.

He did have some kind words for the new Irish boss however who he described as "okay with me".

"We met when he managed another team when we played with them, It was nice. He's okay with me," Jack laughed.

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