Great Britain

Jack Charlton dead: England, Leeds and Ireland mourn Jack Charlton as ‘colossus’ dies aged 85

THE world of football has paid tribute to the legendary Jack Charlton after the England World Cup winner died at the age of 85.

As the news broke this morning, fans, former employers, family and team-mates were quick to express their sadness at his passing.

England, with who Charlton helped lead to World Cup glory in 1966, tweeted a tribute reading: "We are devastated by the news that Jack Charlton, a member of our World Cup-winning team of 1966, has passed away.

"Our deepest sympathies are with Jack’s family, friends and former clubs."

Leeds United, who Charlton played his entire career for spanning a club-record 773 games, posted a heartfelt tribute on their website.

They wrote: "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.

"Charlton’s contribution to the game and Leeds United will never be forgotten.

"He will remain in football folklore forever and his records at Leeds United are unlikely ever to be surpassed.

"Naturally, our thoughts are with Jack’s family and friends at this difficult time."

A statement from the family read: "Jack died peacefully on Friday 10 July at the age of 85.

"He was at home in Northumberland, with his family by his side.

"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."

And his granddaughter Emma Wilkinson posted her own tribute on Twitter along with two photgraphs of her with granddad.

She wrote: "Beyond sad to have to say goodbye to my beloved Grandad, Jack Charlton.

"He enriched so many lives through football, friendship and family.

"He was a kind, funny and thoroughly genuine man and our family will miss him enormously."

After retiring from playing, Charlton naturally moved into football management where his charm and humour saw him gain even more fans.

He famously managed the Republic of Ireland national team, taking them to two World Cups and three European Championships in his ten-year tenure.

The Football Association of Ireland tweeted out: "The FAI is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jack Charlton, the manager who changed Irish football forever.

"Our thoughts are with Pat and the family at this sad time."

More to follow...

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