Football has lost 'one of the greats' – tributes pour in for Jack Charlton

By Sports Desk July 11, 2020

Geoff Hurst said the football world has "lost one of the greats " as tributes poured in for Jack Charlton after the World Cup winner died aged 85 on Friday.

It was announced on Saturday that the Leeds United and England great had passed away following a long battle with ill health.

Charlton won 35 caps for England and was part of the squad that lifted the World Cup on home soil in 1966.

The inspirational centre-back made a record 773 appearances during 23 years with Leeds, winning the league title in 1969 as well as the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Fairs Cup twice.

Charlton went on to become a manager and led the Republic of Ireland to their first major tournament at the 1988 European Championship before masterminding a run to the 1990 World Cup quarter-finals.

Hurst, who scored a hat-trick in England's World Cup final win over West Germany, said Charlton will be hugely missed.

"Another sad day for football. Jack was the type of player and person that you need in a team to win a World Cup," he tweeted.

"He was a great and loveable 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."

Paul McGrath and John Aldridge were key members of Charlton's Ireland squad and they expressed their sadness at his passing.

Former centre-back McGrath tweeted: "Absolutely gutted. Father figure to me for 10 years, thanks for having faith in me. Sleep well Jack, Love ya."

Aldridge, the prolific ex-Liverpool striker, posted on Twitter: "Absolutely gutted that BIG JACK has passed away! What a football man. Loved and adored, specially [sic] in Ireland.

"The best manager I was lucky to play for. The times we had on and off the pitch was priceless! My thoughts are with Pat and the family! RIP my good friend Never Forgotten !!"

A message on the Football Association of Ireland's Twitter account said: "The FAI is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jack Charlton, the manager who changed Irish football forever."

A post from the England national teams on the same platform said: "We are devastated by the news that Jack Charlton, a member of our World Cup-winning team of 1966, has passed away. Our deepest sympathies are with Jack's family, friends and former clubs."

Tony Cascarino, who also played under Charlton for Ireland, also paid tribute.

"A very funny man, a very sensitive man, a very loyal man, a family man," Cascarino told talkSPORT.

"I knew he was bed-ridden over the past 19 days. It's very sad and I'd like to think I'd remember Jack for very happy reasons."

He added: "He was fabulous. It feels like I've lost a family member. Out of all the years I knew Jack, he never talked about winning the World Cup once; he never mentioned it."

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