Football is worse off today after losing one of its all-time greats in Jack Charlton.
I have many fond memories of him. Jack was a football man - he had time for everyone.
When he managed at Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle, I was still playing. I didn't know him too well then, but when he took over as boss of the Republic of Ireland in 1986 our paths crossed many times.
I was assistant to Bryan Hamilton, who was Northern Ireland manager.
We were in the same qualification group as the Republic for the 1996 European Championships. I remember we went down to Dublin and drew 1-1 with them.
When we beat Austria 2-1 away from home - Keith Gillespie scored his first goal for Northern Ireland that night, a great volley - big Jack flew over for the game.
He came back to our hotel and he joined us later for a few beers. He congratulated Bryan and I on the result - that was typical of him.
We didn't do well in the tournament as the games progressed. Our last match was against Austria at Windsor Park, but we couldn't qualify for the Play-Offs.
However, if we managed to beat Austria, the Republic would make the Play-Offs.
Big Jack sent us a message before the game, pleading for us to do the business. He said there would be a few bottles of whiskey on the way up to Belfast if the result was right.
He was a real character. We defeated Austria 5-3, with Michael O'Neill getting a couple of goals.
Afterwards, there were floods of messages and telephone calls from Jack and his backroom staff.
There was an invitation for Bryan and I to go to the Play-Offs in Liverpool. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it, but Bryan did.
The Republic were drawn against Holland, but Patrick Kluivert scored twice which ended their interest.
Jack really did so much for the Republic in his 10 years in charge, taking them to two World Cup finals. He was a one-off and such a lovely man - outspoken, yes, but great company.
As long as he had a pint of Guinness and a fishing rod in his hand, he was happy.