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Jack Charlton, a member of the legendary England football team who won the 1966 World Cup on home ground, has died aged 85, his former club Leeds United announced on Saturday (July 11).

Charlton – older brother of his fellow World Cup winning team-mate Bobby from Manchester United – was an integral part of the great Don Revie-managed Leeds side who won the 1969 English first-division league title and the 1972 FA Cup.

He also enjoyed a successful spell as manager of the Republic of Ireland side, acquiring the nickname “Saint Jack” for guiding them to several major finals including the 1990 World Cup quarter-finals.

“Jack died peacefully on Friday, July 10 at the age of 85. He was at home in Northumberland, with his family by his side,” read a family statement.

“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.”

Leeds issued their own trbiute to “Big Jack” whose uncompromising style as a defender epitomised the rugged side to the Revie era.

“Leeds United are deeply saddened to learn club legend Jack Charlton passed away last night at the age of 85 following a long-term illness,” read a Leeds statement.


“Charlton made a club record 773 appearances for Leeds United over a 23-year period as a player, becoming one of the all-time great central defenders in the game.”

He is the third member of Revie’s Leeds side to die this year, after Norman “Bites Yer Legs” Hunter, 76, and Trevor Cherry, 72.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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