A tribute to one of Ashington's most beloved sons has moved a step closer.

The town's council has agreed to back a campaign to erect a memorial for World Cup winner Jack Charlton, who died on July 10.

The campaign for the statue has received the support of professional footballers and MPs, as well as locals who have chipped in cash to help build a fitting tribute to the England legend.

Big Jack's death provoked an outpouring of grief in Ashington, the town where he and his brother Bobby grew up.

Hundreds lined the streets as mourners paid tribute to the Leeds United hero.

The council motion, which was passed by unanimous vote on Tuesday, said: "The town council notes and recognises the wonderful contribution made by the late Jack Charlton during his life; notes the fondness by which he is remembered on both sides of the Irish Sea and the high esteem in which he will always be held in his home town."

The council agreed to "pursue a lasting memorial to 'Big Jack' in his home town, a community that meant so much to him over his life."

It was agreed that the idea of a statue accompanied by a memorial garden would be explored, although other possibilities could also be discussed.

The new working group will work with his family as well as the community in Ashington to ensure they provide "a fitting memorial to a man who will always be a hero to our town".

Town councillor Liam Lavery, who put forward the motion, said: "We'll now look at how the statue will look, where it will go: the most important thing is to speak to Jack's family to see what they want.

"We had already been raising money for a memorial, but this is good news and a massive boost to the campaign because we've now got official backing behind it.

"When I was growing up, Jack Charlton was known to everyone in my school as an absolute legend, he's a local idol.

"At the same time, whenever you walked past him in the street with his flat cap on, he just looked like a normal Ashington man, you wouldn't have believed he'd won the World Cup. He would speak to everyone one.

"He's a legend of our town and he needs to be remembered for generations to come."

The town council agreed in principle to provide a financial contribution towards the project, however, it hopes to explore other potential funding sources as well.

More than £2,760 has already been raised by people in Ashington and Jack's fans to contribute to the statue project through a Go Fund Me page set up by Coun Lavery.

The fundraiser can be found at https://uk.gofundme.com/f/statue-of-big-jack-charlton-in-his-hometown.