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John "Jack" Charlton, OBE, DL (born Ashingtonmarker, Northumberlandmarker, 8 May 1935) is an English former footballer and football manager who played for Leeds United in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and who was part of the England team who won the 1966 World Cup. He later became a manager of both domestic and international sides, and is particularly well known for his time as manager of the Republic of Ireland.

Early life and career

Born into a footballing family, Charlton was initially overshadowed by his younger brother Bobby, who was taken on by Manchester United while Jack was doing his National Service. His uncles were Jack Milburn (Leeds United and Bradford City), George Milburn (Leeds United and Chesterfield), Jim Milburn (Leeds United and Bradford Park Avenue) and Stan Milburn (Chesterfield, Leicester City and Rochdale), and legendary Newcastle United and England footballer Jackie Milburn was his mother's cousin.

After quitting a job in a coal mine, Charlton applied to join the police, but was then offered a trial by Leeds United after they had spotted him playing as a central defender in an amateur match. The trial game clashed with his police interview, and Charlton chose to play in the game. He impressed enough to be offered an apprenticeship with Leeds, and then signed professional terms in 1952.

Charlton played in the Leeds senior team for the first time in April 1953 and within another two years was a regular fixture in the side.

Leeds were a second division side for much of the 1950s, with the side built around Welsh legend John Charles. Under Raich Carter, Leeds won promotion to the First Division in 1957, before suffering relegation again two years later. Carter was replaced by Don Revie as manager in 1961.

Charlton feared for his future at Leeds after Revie's appointment, as the two had disagreed as players. At one point Revie agreed to sell him, but interested clubs - including Liverpool and Manchester United - could not match Leeds' asking price. Ultimately, they settled their differences, and Revie built the Leeds defence around Charlton.

Charlton was joined at centre back in 1962 by Norman Hunter, a product of the youth policy. Other youth team players such as Peter Lorimer, Paul Reaney and Billy Bremner also came into the side and Leeds won promotion back to the First Division in 1964. Leeds made an immediate impact on their first season back in the top flight; they were runners up in the league, losing the title to Manchester United on goal difference, and were beaten 2-1 by Liverpool in the FA Cup final. Charlton, operating as an emergency striker, set up Bremner's goal for Leeds.

International recognition and a World Cup winner's medal

With Charlton approaching his 30th birthday, he was called up by Alf Ramsey to play for England against Scotland at Wembley. The game ended 2-2 and Charlton was impressive enough to keep his place. With England hosting the 1966 World Cup in just over 12 months' time, the incentive to stay in the side was obvious.

Ramsey chopped and changed other areas of his team as the World Cup neared, but Charlton's partnership at the back with captain Bobby Moore remained a constant. Charlton got his first England goal in a pre-tournament victory over Denmark before Ramsey confirmed his squad of 22 players for the finals. Charlton was in the squad, and was given the No. 5 shirt, an indication that if fit he would be the first choice partner for Moore.

England drew their opening group game against Uruguay 0-0, but progressed to the knock-out stages after victories against Mexico and France. The latter game finished 2-0 with Roger Hunt getting both England goals, one of which came after Charlton, venturing forward to add height to the attack, hit the post with a header. England eliminated Argentina in the quarter finals, taking them to a semi final against Portugal.

Charlton had his work cut out keeping Portugal's Torres quiet, with the centre forward winning his fair share of aerial duels. However, his brother Bobby scored twice to give England a commanding lead, before Eusébio scored a late penalty after Charlton had handled a shot on the goal-line. England clung on and reached the final, where they would play West Germany.

In the final, England beat West Germany 4-2 after extra time to win the World Cup. One of the more memorable images at the final whistle was the sight of Charlton, at 31 the second oldest member of the team, sinking to his knees with his face in his hands, weeping with joy.

Leeds United: trophies and near misses

In 1967 Charlton had a mixed time. Leeds missed out on domestic honours again and Charlton picked up an injury while playing for England in a 3-2 defeat to Scotland at Wembley, during which he scored. However, he ended the season as the Footballer Of The Year and his future after football as an after-dinner speaker was marked by his speech at the awards ceremony, which earned him a standing ovation.

Charlton finally won domestic honours with Leeds in 1968 with a controversial League Cup victory over Arsenal - the Arsenal players claimed that Charlton had committed a foul in their penalty area prior to the ball reaching Terry Cooper, who scored the only goal. Leeds also won the Fairs Cup and Charlton completed the year by playing his 447th League game, breaking the club's previous record for appearances.

In 1969, Leeds finally got their hands on the League championship, with Charlton proving a rock at the back as the team lost just two games all season. A year later, Leeds went for the unprecedented treble of League title, FA Cup and European Cup - and missed out on all three.

Everton pipped Leeds to the title, Celtic F.C. beat them in the semi finals of the European Cup, and Leeds lost the FA Cup final to Chelsea after a replay, after a pressured Charlton had unwittingly back-headed a long throw across his own area, allowing David Webb to score Chelsea's winner. Charlton was so angry that he did not collect his runners-up medal afterwards. He had earlier scored Leeds' opening goal in the original tie.

In the summer on 1970, Ramsey named Charlton in his squad of 22 for the 1970 World Cup. However, Charlton was not Moore's first choice partner, with Everton's Brian Labone getting the nod after a sturdy series of displays during the European Championships two years earlier. Charlton played his 35th and final England game in the 1-0 group win over Czechoslovakia. England lost in the quarter finals to West Germany, and on the flight home, both Charlton brothers asked Ramsey not to be considered for international duty again.

Twilight honours at Leeds

In October 1970, Charlton famously appeared on a football programme, where he said he'd once had a "little black book" of names of players whom he intended to hurt or exact some form of revenge upon during his playing days. He later said this was a figure of speech and that no such book existed.

Leeds won the Fairs Cup again in 1971, but lost the league championship to Arsenal. In 1972, Leeds finally won the FA Cup and Charlton completed his set of domestic medals. Although he continued playing, he suffered an injury in 1973 which ruled him out for the rest of the season, including another FA Cup final, and eventually retired from playing aged 38, with 774 club appearances and 96 goals to his name.


He was offered the job as manager of second division Middlesbrough on his 38th birthday in 1973, and he led them to promotion back to the top flight in his first season by such a considerable margin that he was given the Manager Of The Year award. Previously, the honour had never been awarded to a manager outside of the First Division. He consolidated Middlesbrough's place in the top flight acquiring a reputation for ultra-defensive tactics particularly in away games.

Charlton quit Middlesbrough in April 1977, and applied unsuccessfully for the job of England manager, which had been controversially vacated by the resignation of his old Leeds boss Don Revie. He then took over as manager at Sheffield Wednesday and took them to promotion from the Third Division. He resigned his position in 1983, went briefly back to Middlesbrough, then became manager of Newcastle United. However, after the first signs of unrest from supporters, he resigned after a year in the job.

Republic of Ireland

Charlton spent a brief time outside of football before being approached by the FAI to manage the Republic of Ireland. Ireland had one of the strongest squads in Europe at the time, with players of the calibre of Liam Brady, Ronnie Whelan, Mark Lawrenson, Paul McGrath and David O'Leary, but had never qualified for a major tournament.

Ireland qualified for the 1988 European Championships in Germany, and were drawn against England, the Soviet Union and the Netherlands in their group.

An early Houghton goal in Ireland's opening game against England was enough to clinch a 1-0 win, despite the English having the lion's share of the possession and chances. Ireland subsequently drew 1-1 with the Soviets but went out of the competition when they lost 1-0 to the Dutch. Charlton then received the runner-up prize in the World Soccer Manager of the Year awards in 1988.

Ireland qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 1990, where they were drawn against England, Egypt and The Netherlands. The Irish qualified from the group stage despite failing to win any of their 3 group games. They drew 1-1, 0-0 and 1-1 against the English, Egyptians and Dutch respectively. They defeated Romania in the second round match which went to penalties after a 0-0 draw, before meeting Pope John Paul II at the Vaticanmarker. Charlton admitted that at one point during the service he actually fell asleep.

Ireland eventually went out to the hosts, Italy 1-0 in the quarter final. Over 500,000 fans lined the streets of Dublin to welcome the team home from their first World Cup campaign.

Ireland failed to reach the Euro 92, despite going through qualification unbeaten. The team qualified for the 1994 World Cup in the U.S., and beat Italy 1-0 in the first round. During Ireland's next game, against Mexico, Charlton infamously had a pitch-side argument with a linesman who was preventing substitute John Aldridge from taking the pitch. Mexico went on to win 2-1. Charlton was later fined, although he claimed in his autobiography that he never actually paid the fine, and was suspended for the final group match in New York. He watched from the stands as Ireland drew 0-0 to Norway, thus qualifying for the second round. In their next game, Ireland were eliminated from the competition after losing 2-0 to Holland.

Charlton was awarded the freedom of the city of Dublin in 1994 by Lord Mayor Tomás Mac Giolla.

Ireland failed to qualify for Euro 96, despite a strong start to the group, when they won their opening three games, including a 4-0 win against Northern Ireland. The Republic's next game was also against Northern Ireland, although the result was a 1-1 draw. From that point onwards the Republic stuttered badly; after beating the highly fancied Portuguese, the Irish then endured an embarrassing 0-0 draw to Liechtenstein, before losing twice to Austria, on both occasions by three goals to one. Although they defeated Latvia, Ireland needed to beat Portugal in Lisbon to qualify outright, but lost 3-0. In an emotionally charged play off at Anfield against Holland, Ireland lost 2-0.

Charlton resigned shortly after the game. His involvement in the game since has been restricted to punditry and speaking.

Personal life

Charlton married Pat on 6 January 1958, a month before the Munich Air Disaster in which his brother Bobby, who was best man at his wedding, was injured. Personal honours awarded to him include the OBE and, in 1996, that of honorary Irish citizenship. The honour amounts to full Irish citizenship; it is the highest honour the Irish state gives and is rarely granted. In 1994 he was made a Freeman of the city of Dublinmarker. In 1997, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Northumberlandmarker. Charlton was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2005 in recognition of his contribution to the English game. He has a lifesize statue at Cork Airport in Ireland, representing him sitting down in his fishing gear displaying a salmon. On 25 August 2009 the BBC reported that Charlton had collapsed on holiday, he was later discharged from hospital.


Career Statistics

See also


External links

1952-53 Leeds United Second Division 1 0
1953-54 0 0
1954-55 1 0
1955-56 34 0
1956-57 First Division 21 0
1957-58 40 0
1958-59 39 1
1959-60 41 3
1960-61 Second Division 41 7
1961-62 34 9
1962-63 38 2
1963-64 25 3
1964-65 First Division 39 9
1965-66 40 6
1966-67 28 5
1967-68 34 5
1968-69 41 3
1969-70 32 3
1970-71 41 6
1971-72 41 5
1972-73 18 3

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