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Jack Charlton: 1966 England World Cup Winner Dies Aged 85

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Jack Charlton, a World Cup winner with England and former Republic of Ireland boss, has died aged 85.

The former Leeds defender had been diagnosed with lymphoma in the last year and also had dementia.

One of English football’s most popular characters, he was in the team that won the World Cup at Wembley in 1966, alongside his brother Bobby.

He made a record number of appearances for Leeds and achieved unprecedented success with the Republic of Ireland.

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.

“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.”

The England football team tweeted to say they were “devastated” by the news, while he was hailed as a man who “changed Irish football forever” by the Football Association of Ireland.

“He was a great and lovable character and he will be greatly missed. The world of football and the world beyond football has lost one of the greats. RIP old friend,” said England’s 1966 World Cup final hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst.

Charlton had spells in charge of Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and Newcastle.

He led the Republic of Ireland to their first major finals at Euro 88 and the World Cup quarter-finals at Italia 90.

Leeds United, where he spent his entire 21-year playing career and made a joint club record 773 appearances before retiring as a player in 1973, said they were “deeply saddened”.

Charlton, part of the Leeds side that won the 1969 League title and the 1972 FA Cup, is the third club legend and former England international to die this year after Norman Hunter and Trevor Cherry.

Jack Charlton after the 1972 FA Cup final won by Leeds
Charlton was part of the Leeds team that won the 1972 FA Cup
Tributes at Leeds United's Elland Road ground
Tributes at Leeds United’s Elland Road ground

Despite not being called into the England team until days before his 30th birthday, Charlton won 35 caps and, playing alongside younger brother Bobby, lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy at Wembley in 1966.

He also helped England finish third at the 1968 European Championship, and was voted the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year in 1967.

“Saddened to hear that Jack Charlton has passed away,” wrote former England striker Gary Lineker on Twitter.

“World Cup winner with England, manager of probably the best ever Ireland side and a wonderfully infectious personality to boot. RIP Jack.”

Former Republic of Ireland forward John Aldridge said: “Absolutely gutted that big Jack has passed away.

“What a football man, loved and adored, especially in Ireland. The best manager I was lucky to play for.

“The times we had on and off the pitch were priceless. My thoughts are with Pat and the family. RIP my good friend. Never forgotten.”

SOURCE BBC NEWS