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Good times: Mick McCarthy shares a joke with Jack Charlton

Good times: Mick McCarthy shares a joke with Jack Charlton

INPHO

Gianni Infantino

Gianni Infantino

�INPHO/Presseye

Good times: Mick McCarthy shares a joke with Jack Charlton

FIFA boss Gianni Infantino and former Republic of Ireland player and manager Mick McCarthy have added their tributes following the death of the Irish and English footballing icon, Jack Charlton.

Infantino wrote to FAI president Gerry McAnaney to extend sympathy on behalf of the game's governing body.

Charlton passed away at the age of 85 having been diagnosed with lymphoma in the last year while also battling dementia.

"I would like to express my sincerest and heartfelt condolences on the passing of legendary player and coach, Jack Charlton. Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel for this loss affecting Irish football," Infantino wrote.

He added: "A legendary figure for England, Leeds United FC and the Republic of Ireland, his legacy and achievements, and in particular his friendly personality, his loyalty and his human qualities will not be forgotten, and he will be truly missed.

"Loved and adored in the Republic of Ireland, a kind, warm-hearted and genuine person, he will forever stay in our memories.

"On behalf of the international football community, I wish to extend our deepest sympathy to the Football Association of Ireland, and to Jack's family, his friends and loved ones. Our thoughts are with all of you. We hope that these memories and our words of support may help bring some peace and solace at this difficult time."

McCarthy was captain of the Republic when they reached the World Cup quarter-finals at Italia '90 and he took over from Charlton as manager six years later.

He said: "Jack Charlton enabled me to reach a career pinnacle I would never have dreamed of and I will always be grateful.

"To captain the Republic of Ireland against Italy - the host nation - in a World Cup quarter-final in Rome was just incredible. For me, that was just, 'Wow'. Jack's management was based on simplicity, honesty and common sense.

"It was the happiest time of my life in that team, and I've got Jack to thank for that.

"He trusted me and he gave me the captaincy. I wasn't the best player in that team, nowhere near, but he saw something in me and my football at club level blossomed as well during that time. I'll never forget him for that.

"I knew he was proud of me and that means a lot. I called him the day after his birthday and we had a chat. And we had a reunion of the Irish team at the K Club in 2018. He was struggling a little, but I just wanted to see him. I loved the bones of the man."

Belfast Telegraph