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Jack Charlton, a hero to Ireland and England football fans, dies aged 85

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The tributes have poured in for Jack Charlton (PA)

The tributes have poured in for Jack Charlton (PA)

The tributes have poured in for Jack Charlton (PA)

Former Republic of Ireland manager and England World Cup hero Jack Charlton has died at 85 years of age.

Charlton had been diagnosed with lymphoma in the last year and was also battling dementia.

He spent his entire 21-year playing career at Leeds, making a joint club record 773 appearances, before retiring as a player in 1973 and going on to enjoy a successful and colourful career as a manager.

One of English football's most popular and larger-than-life characters, he had spells in charge of Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough, Newcastle before taking over the Republic of Ireland, who he guided to their first major finals at Euro 88 and two more in the space of 10 years.

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Jack Charlton spent his whole playing career at Leeds (PA)

Jack Charlton spent his whole playing career at Leeds (PA)

PA

Jack Charlton spent his whole playing career at Leeds (PA)

Having guided Ireland to a historic victory over England at Euro 88, Charlton's reputation in his adopted nation soared and a run to the quarter-finals at Italia 90, before a close defeat to the hosts, cemented his status as an honorary Irishman.

After narrowly failing to qualify for Euro 92 in Sweden, a second World Cup appearance at USA 94 brought another historic win with England's conqueror from six years previous, Ray Houghton, once again scoring as the Boys In Green exacted revenge with a 1-0 win over Italy.

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Jack Charlton is the latest member of England’s World Cup-winning team from 1966 to die (PA)

Jack Charlton is the latest member of England’s World Cup-winning team from 1966 to die (PA)

Jack Charlton is the latest member of England’s World Cup-winning team from 1966 to die (PA)

An ultimately unsuccessful tilt at qualification for Euro 96 in his native England with an aging squad brought down the curtain on Charlton's decade long reign. A ply-off defeat to Holland at Anfield would be his final game in management.

Having been made a Freeman of Dublin in 1994, Charlton's status as an honorary Irishman was made official in 1996 when he was given Irish citizenship.

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The tributes have poured in for Jack Charlton (PA)

The tributes have poured in for Jack Charlton (PA)

The tributes have poured in for Jack Charlton (PA)

A family statement read: "Jack died peacefully on Friday, July 10 at the age of 85. He was at home in Northumberland, with his family by his side.

"As well as a friend to many, he was a much-adored husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

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Tributes have been paid in Ireland to former national football team manager Jack Charlton (PA)

Tributes have been paid in Ireland to former national football team manager Jack Charlton (PA)

Tributes have been paid in Ireland to former national football team manager Jack Charlton (PA)

"We cannot express how proud we are of the extraordinary life he led and the pleasure he brought to so many people in different countries and from all walks of life.

"He was a thoroughly honest, kind, funny and genuine man who always had time for people.

"His loss will leave a huge hole in all our lives but we are thankful for a lifetime of happy memories."

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Jack Charlton played alongside his brother Bobby for England (PA)

Jack Charlton played alongside his brother Bobby for England (PA)

PA

Jack Charlton played alongside his brother Bobby for England (PA)

Charlton's granddaughter, journalist Emma Wilkinson, tweeted: "Beyond sad to have to say goodbye to my beloved Grandad, Jack Charlton. He enriched so many lives through football, friendship and family. He was a kind, funny and thoroughly genuine man and our family will miss him enormously."

The Football Association of Ireland tweeted that "The FAI is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jack Charlton, the manager who changed Irish football forever. Our thoughts are with Pat and the family at this sad time."

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Jack Charlton was an FA Cup winner with Leeds (PA)

Jack Charlton was an FA Cup winner with Leeds (PA)

PA

Jack Charlton was an FA Cup winner with Leeds (PA)

Leeds United tweeted that the club was "deeply saddened to learn club legend Jack Charlton passed away last night at the age of 85".

Leeds United Supporters' Trust tweeted: "Another massively sad day for the fans and club as we lose another legend. RIP Big Jack. If there was ever a more prominent year for us to go up it's now, let's do it for Jack, Norman and Trevor."

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Charlton (second from left) celebrates with his Leeds team-mates after winning the 1968-69 Division One title (PA)

Charlton (second from left) celebrates with his Leeds team-mates after winning the 1968-69 Division One title (PA)

PA

Charlton (second from left) celebrates with his Leeds team-mates after winning the 1968-69 Division One title (PA)

The English Football League tweeted: "We are saddened to learn of the passing of @LUFC and @England legend Jack Charlton at the age of 85.

"Charlton made a club-record 773 appearances for Leeds United as a player and was a World Cup winner with his country. We will never forget him."

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