October 26, 2020

Jack Charlton, Soccer Hero in England and Ireland, Dies at 85

LONDON — Jack Charlton, a soccer star who was part of the England team that won the 1966 World Cup and who later shaped Ireland’s national team as its manager in the late 1980s and early 1990s, died on Friday. He was 85.

His family said in a statement that Mr. Charlton had “died peacefully” at his home in Northumberland, in northern England.

“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,” the statement read.

He had received a diagnosis of lymphoma last year and also had dementia, according to the BBC.

Mr. Charlton’s playing career was spent entirely at Leeds United, a club in northern England, where he formed part of one of the dominant teams of the 1960s and ’70s. The Charlton name was written indelibly into the history of English football when he and his brother Bobby, who was a star player at Manchester United, helped England lift the World Cup in 1966.

To many in Ireland, Jack Charlton will be remembered as an iconic coach who took the national team to its first major tournament when it qualified for the European championships in 1988. Two years later, under his leadership, Ireland reached the quarterfinals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy during its first-ever participation in the tournament.

Leeds United, for whom he made 773 appearances over a 23-year career, said it was “deeply saddened” to learn of the death of a “club legend.”

Tributes from Ireland and Britain poured in on Saturday.

Prime Minister Micheal Martin of Ireland wrote on Twitter that he was “saddened to hear of the passing of Jack Charlton who brought such honesty and joy to the football world,” and the Football Association of Ireland said the country had lost “the manager who changed Irish football forever.”