Jack Charlton: Leeds legend remembered by fans and family


, Jack Charlton: Leeds legend remembered by fans and familyImage copyright
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Phil Beeton from the Leeds United Supporters’ Club said “you don’t forget people like this”

“It’s another legend gone, the last few months have been heartbreaking,” said Leeds fan Andy McVeigh on the news club hero Jack Charlton has died aged 85.

The World Cup winner with England and ex-Republic of Ireland boss spent his whole playing career at Elland Road.

The West Yorkshire club has recently seen the deaths of fellow legends Norman Hunter and Trevor Cherry.

Mr McVeigh said of Charlton: “He played 773 times as a one-club man, an amazing feat.”

The former defender had been diagnosed with lymphoma in the last year and also had dementia.

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Flowers and notes have been left at Elland Road

Mr McVeigh, known locally as Burley Banksy for the Leeds United murals he paints, said: “He played before my time but of course I’ve watched footage of him in action.

“I loved that he played that record number of games and yet liked a fag at half-time.

“I would love to paint a tribute to him, maybe a great, towering header.”

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A 1969 clash with Jack (Right) battling his brother Bobby Charlton (Left)

Phil Beeton, co-chairman of Leeds United Supporters’ Club, said he had watched Leeds since the 1957-58 season and saw Charlton develop.

“He stood out for his stature, nobody wanted to fall out with him,” he said.

“This is our centenary season and there could be no finer tribute to him and the other former players than to gain promotion this season.

“It’s a great shame none of us can show our respects in the normal manner due to the virus, many people would want to be there as a thank you.”

Neil Sutcliffe, another Leeds United fan, said: “He was an icon for the club and embodied everything about the team and he went on to be a successful manager.”

Fan Jez Long added: “You can’t do better in life than play for Leeds United can you? He was one of the one-team greats.”

Steve Till remembered meeting Charlton and the rest of the Leeds team on a train after an infamous defeat to Liverpool in 1967, when goalkeeper Gary Sprake had thrown the ball into his own net.

“He chatted with me as a 14-year-old and I remember the way he looked up and called me over.

“There has been a few tears today from me, he was a colossus.”

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Jack Charlton with his Footballer of the Year trophy in 1967

Simon Strachan, a Leeds fan living in Calgary, Canada, said: “We are running out of stands to name after our legends.”

Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “He was a legend in English football and it is an absolute privilege that he spent his entire 21-year playing career at Leeds United.

“As well as being an amazing player, Jack was a true gentleman off the pitch. We will never forget him or his impact on the sport.”

Leeds United commentator Adam Pope said Charlton was synonymous with the “golden era” of Leeds United.

“His passing along with former team mates Norman Hunter and Trevor Cherry has seen another outpouring of grief amongst the supporters during the club’s centenary year,” he said.

A family man, he married Pat Kemp in 1958, and granddaughter Kate Wilkinson said: “He was kind, playful and genuine, and I’ll miss him so much.”

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