THE FAMILY of Jack Charlton paid tribute to the former Republic of Ireland manager as “both a man and THE man” during a private funeral service.
A World Cup winner with England and Ireland’s greatest ever manager, Charlton passed away age 85 last week, prompting an outpouring of tributes.
Big Jack was laid to rest at West Road Crematorium in Newcastle with only a small number of close friends and family allowed to attend.
Jack’s granddaughter, Emma Wilkinson, spoke during the service of her grandad’s great affinity with Ireland.
"Ireland was a great fit for grandad — the people, the craic, the fishing, the Guinness and a bit of football thrown in,” she said.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the messages from Ireland. One that really stuck out said that grandad did the near impossible in transcending politics.”
Wilkinson recalled how “some called him the English Irishman” and remembered how he “so affably rose above” any political issues before him.
“He was simply both a man and THE man,” she concluded.
Thank you to all who came out to pay tribute to Grandad Jack today - we were all overwhelmed. He would have been absolutely thrilled and so proud. pic.twitter.com/3TJmRtFwj0
— Emma Wilkinson (@emmawilkitv) July 21, 2020
Charlton was also remembered for his generous charity work and willingness to help players, friends and colleagues who needed help.
The service concluded with the playing of one of Big Jack’s favourite songs, Frank Sinatra’s My Way, as his family said goodbye to a man who meant so much to so many people.
Prior to the service, thousands of fans had lined the streets to pay tribute to Big Jack.
In Ireland, meanwhile, radio stations across the country marked 12:30pm – the time Charlton’s funeral was scheduled to conclude – by playing Put’em Under Pressure, the Ireland anthem from the team’s 1990 World Cup campaign and a song synonymous with the success enjoyed under Big Jack.
For the next three weeks, all post sent throughout Ireland and England will feature a postmark bearing Charlton’s name as a tribute to his lasting legacy in the game.