He was a big man in every sense. A Geordie giant who strode across football's landscape leaving a mighty impression on all he met along the way.
Jack Charlton has died at the age of 85 and the world will doff its cap in his memory.
Big Jack was loved in Leeds where he was the rock at the heart of Don Revie's championship winning side. Loved in England as a World Cup winner of 1966 alongside his brother Bobby. Adored in Middlesbrough where he took them back into football's top flight giving Fairs Cup winner Alan Foggon a second lease of life. And revered in the Republic of Ireland for steering them to the finals of the World Cup for the very first time and then repeating the feat.
Throughout a star sprinkled career as a player and manager Jack remained a steadfast Newcastle United fan who used to stand alongside Bobby on the St James Park terraces when they were kids marvelling at Uncle Jackie Milburn scoring rampaging goals for the Magpies.
He achieved what every supporter would love to achieve of course - he managed 'his' club for a season in 1984-85 when having just returned to the old First Division under the captaincy of Kevin Keegan he easily kept Newcastle's decimated squad clear of relegation.
It was my privilege to know Jack Charlton from his Leeds playing days through to his final years with his devoted wife Pat seeing out retirement at his Stamfordham home.
He was a man's man, a country man who liked nought better than, flat cap pulled over his head and waders on, going off river fishing for the afternoon.
He bought a house for his mam and dad back in Ashington after winning the World Cup and called it Jules Rimet. It was a typical act of kindness.
Cissie was a wonderful lady who was mom to the most famous brothers in world football. She told me that Jack was "a rascal going bird nesting and kidding on with the lasses" while Bobby "was nicknamed Little Lord Fauntleroy."
Of course Bobby was the elegant show pony of a player who won everything with Manchester United while Jack was the nobbly kneed centre-half destroyer who won the ball at Leeds and gave it to others to play.
I worked with Jack during his year as manager of Newcastle and went with his Republic or Ireland squad to America for the World Cup finals of 1994 when England failed to qualify.
I well recall having a drop of vino and a pleasant lunch with the big fella one day and then driving up to United's Benwell training ground.
There was an afternoon session going on and we drifted over to stand and watch.
The ball was being pumped into a crowded penalty area where Newcastle's central defenders were supposed to clear under pressure. Time and again a weak header would fall short just outside the box where a lurking midfielder could have a lash at goal.
Jack was getting more and more angry. Eventually he yelled "no, no, no," threw down his cap, and strode onto the pitch. Wearing brogues and still with a cigar clenched between his teeth, Charlton demanded the ball be crossed into the box again. When it was he rose like a bird, elbows clearing out anyone who dared to venture onto his toes, and a thumping header sent the ball flying upfield.
Jack took the cigar out of his mouth, turned on his heel, and growled: "That's the way to bloody defend!"
Over in America the Yanks adored Jack. He might have been English but he was in charge of the Republic and every visitor to our hotel appeared to have Irish blood coursing through their veins.
When at the mighty Giants Stadium in New Jersey Ireland defeated Italy's aristocrats through a Ray Houghton goal the legend of Big Jack was complete.
Every night I used to drop into the hotel bar for a snifter before dinner and inevitably I would hear loud footsteps behind me.
"Gizza fag, Gibbo," boomed an instantly recognisable Northumbrian twang. "Mine's a Guinness!"
I have been inundated with calls since the sad news of Jack Charlton's passing. Willie McFaul, who followed him as manager at Newcastle, phoned from Northern Ireland. Glenn McCrory who took over from Jack as a deputy lord lieutenant of Northumberland, was in tears. Alan Foggon, normally so full of life, was sombre and reflective.
Aye, Big Jack was a character well remembered with great affection. A man who could terrify centre-forwards and anyone knocking on his door wanting to speak to the gaffer but a man who never forgot his Geordie roots and who did us all proud.
Rest In Peace fella. And thanks for the memories.