JACKIE CHARLTON

John 'Jack' Charlton (born May 8, 1935 in Ashington Northumberland, England) was an England international footballer, spending his entire career at Leeds United F.C. (May 1, 1952 to May 16, 1973), for whom he scored 96 goals in 773 appearances.

Charlton was born in a mining village, and worked as a miner before going into professional football. Considered one of the greatest central defenders ever to have played the game, he was nearly 30 years old before first playing in the England national team, with his brother Bobby Charlton - the first case of brothers playing for the national team. He won a winners medal in the 1966 World Cup and in all made 35 appearances for England.

Following his retirement as a player, he enjoyed considerable success as a team manager at Middlesbrough (1973 - 1977), where he secured promotion to Division 1, and Sheffield Wednesday (1977 - 1983), but was less successful at Newcastle United where there was a poor relationship with the fans and Charlton decided to walk away from the job. In 1986 he was a controversial choice as manager of the Republic of Ireland's national team (the first non-Irishman appointed), but he was astonishingly successful at making the most of limited resources (soccer being a minority sport in the Republic at the time, the popular code being Gaelic football). Through a policy of employing simple tactics and finding players mainly in the English league who had an Irish-born parent or grandparent but hadn't considered themselves to be Irish, the Republic qualified for the World Cup finals in both 1990 and 1994, famously defeating Italy in 1994.

Following his retirement from management in 1994, Charlton can sometimes be found as a TV football pundit, though he also owns a pub in Dublin, and is Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Northumbria.
 

close window