21 Jul Jack Charlton funeral: Thousands line streets of Ashington to salute World Cup winner | UK News
Thousands of people lined the streets of Jack Charlton’s home town to salute the 85-year-old World Cup winner.
The former footballer’s funeral service was attended by just 20 close family members in Northumberland.
But the whole community turned out to watch the funeral cortege pass through the former mining town of Ashington ahead of the service.
Charlton worked briefly down the pit alongside his father before joining Leeds United where he played his entire club career.
He went on to win the World Cup with England in 1966 alongside his younger brother, Sir Bobby.
It all began in the back streets of Ashington where the Charlton brothers fell in love with the game that would change their lives.
Ian Skinner, from the town’s football club, told Sky News that Jack always had time for people.
“He loved nothing better than walking the streets of Ashington and I bet, if you did a straw poll of all these people, they’ll have all of met him at some point,” Mr Skinner said.
“He loved his roots, he loved the fact it was a mining town and a hard-working, working class town and they were all the attributes he held in high regard.”
The Charlton family lived in a terraced house on Beatrice Street in Ashington.
Ray Young, who now lives at the famous address, told Sky News that Jack should have received a knighthood just as his brother and three other World Cup winners did.
“It was a team effort and I think they all should have been knighted,” he said.
“Four of that team have been, but those four wouldn’t have won it without the others.”
The senior Charlton brother’s footballing achievements included managing Ireland’s national team during the 1980s and 1990s.
They exceeded expectations to finish as quarter-finalists at the 1990 World Cup in Italy and returned home as heroes.
To mark Charlton’s funeral in England, people raised a toast to him across Ireland.
And Irish radio stations played his World Cup song from 1990, titled Put ‘Em Under Pressure.
A huge mural commemorating his life was unveiled in Ballina, County Mayo.
Former Ireland international John Aldridge, who played for Charlton at the World Cup in the US in 1994, told Sky News: “He was a funny, funny man, he let us get away with a lot of things that the England team in particular couldn’t do.
“He’d let us go out for a drink and a few pints of Guinness.
“He’d actually say ‘don’t drink Coca-Cola – half a Guinness is better for you than Coca-Cola’, which is quite right so we had some great memories together.”