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As Big Jack Charlton laid to rest illness denies brother Bobby a final farewell

 

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People line the streets as the funeral cortege of Jack Charlton passes through his home town of Ashington in Northumberland yesterday

People line the streets as the funeral cortege of Jack Charlton passes through his home town of Ashington in Northumberland yesterday

PA

The coffin is taken into West Road Crematorium

The coffin is taken into West Road Crematorium

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Republic of Ireland fans gather at Walkinstown Roundabout in Dublin

Republic of Ireland fans gather at Walkinstown Roundabout in Dublin

PA

A floral tribute

A floral tribute

Getty Images

People line the streets as the funeral cortege of Jack Charlton passes through his home town of Ashington in Northumberland yesterday

Sir Bobby Charlton honoured his late brother Jack with a poignant floral tribute after illness prevented him from attending the funeral yesterday.

The former Republic of Ireland boss, who won the World Cup playing for England, was remembered on both sides of the Irish Sea.

In his home town of Ashington in Northumberland, applause rang out as thousands of people lined the streets to say farewell to the football hero.

Well-wishers threw flowers on the hearse as it passed slowly through the former mining community where he and his younger brother Sir Bobby honed their football skills.

In Ireland, fans gathered at the Walkinstown Roundabout in Dublin. Republic fans were dressed in green while Irish radio stations played Put 'Em Under Pressure, the official song from the team's 1990 World Cup campaign in Italy.

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People line the streets as the funeral cortege of Jack Charlton passes through his home town of Ashington in Northumberland yesterday

People line the streets as the funeral cortege of Jack Charlton passes through his home town of Ashington in Northumberland yesterday

PA

People line the streets as the funeral cortege of Jack Charlton passes through his home town of Ashington in Northumberland yesterday

At his funeral service, Charlton's grandchildren paid tribute to "a proud Englishman, a proud northerner and a proud honorary Irishman".

Charlton, a stalwart of Leeds United's most successful period, died earlier this month aged 85.

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Republic of Ireland fans gather at Walkinstown Roundabout in Dublin

Republic of Ireland fans gather at Walkinstown Roundabout in Dublin

PA

Republic of Ireland fans gather at Walkinstown Roundabout in Dublin

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

They included his wife of 62 years, Patricia; sons John, Peter, daughter Deborah Wilkinson, and her children Emma, Kate and Tom. Jack's younger brothers Gordon (77) and Tommy (74) were also in attendance.

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Fans gather to pay tribute in Dublin yesterday

Fans gather to pay tribute in Dublin yesterday

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Fans gather to pay tribute in Dublin yesterday

Sadly, the family said Sir Bobby was not well enough to attend the service at Newcastle Crematorium. Sir Bobby and wife Norma sent a floral tribute of white flowers with a message which read: "Rest in peace Jack. Sending our deepest sympathy. In our thoughts from Bobby, Norma and family."

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A floral tribute

A floral tribute

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A floral tribute

In their tribute, grandchildren Emma, Kate and Tom Wilkinson said: "The footballer, the friend, the family man we all knew was forged in Ashington - during a happy childhood with the parents and three brothers he always loved dearly.

"As they whiled away hours kicking a ball around Hirst Park, Grandad could never have imagined how remarkable his life would go on to be."

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Republic of Ireland fans gathered in Dublin to celebrate his life (Niall Carson/PA)

Republic of Ireland fans gathered in Dublin to celebrate his life (Niall Carson/PA)

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Republic of Ireland fans gathered in Dublin to celebrate his life (Niall Carson/PA)

They spoke of his record-breaking career with Leeds United, his time coinciding with the Yorkshire side's most successful years. The grandchildren said that he had never expected to be called up for England - his first cap came shortly before he was 30.

Their eulogy continued: "And on that famous day in July 1966, as the final whistle blew on English football's most historic moment, he dropped to his knees, head in hands.

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The coffin is taken into West Road Crematorium

The coffin is taken into West Road Crematorium

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The coffin is taken into West Road Crematorium

"Many have often wondered what he was thinking - was it pure elation? Was it the gravity of the achievement?

"Was it relief that the hopes of a nation had been realised? Well he always told us he was just bloody knackered."

He turned to management, eventually sealing his reputation with tremendous success as Republic of Ireland boss.

After taking over in 1986, Charlton guided the Republic to the 1988 European Championships and a famous 1-0 win over England in Stuttgart.

He then led the Republic to their first World Cup in 1990, where they reached the quarter-finals. They also qualified for the 1994 World Cup, where they memorably beat the Italians.

His grandchildren said: "Ireland was a great fit for Grandad, the people, the 'craic', the salmon fishing, the Guinness - and a bit of football thrown in.

"We've been overwhelmed with kind messages from Ireland - one that really stuck out said Grandad 'did the near-impossible and transcended politics - some called him the English Irishman, but why reference the divides and mountains he so affably rose above? Simply, he was both a man and the man'."

They added: "His achievements in England and Ireland brought him great recognition, but he always had his feet firmly on the ground - in fact he found fame endearingly novel and he would have been really chuffed with all the nice things people have been saying about him in the past week or so.

"He was rightly proud of all his footballing achievements and they helped shape the person he was, but they are just parts of a life full of love, generosity, and a lot of laughs."

In Ashington, fans wearing Leeds shirts, Newcastle United tops, Ireland strips and replica kits from the local side also paid moving tributes.

Peter Mather, a 68-year-old semi-retired bricklayer, was carrying a sign saying "Howay Wor Jack".

Irishman Patrick Wilson was stood in the town centre with his family to pay his respects.

The 68-year-old civil engineer, who is originally from Rahugh, Co Westmeath, but now living in Longframlington, Northumberland, said: "We look at him as a humble person, a man for the people."

Belfast Telegraph