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Big Jack
News just breaking that Jack Charlton has passed away.

Here's a tribute from Lady Elsie Robson and the Bobby Robson Foundation:

Jack Charlton was a great football man, a great supporter of our work and a great friend to Sir Bobby. We were so sad to hear about his death from cancer.

Jack’s wife, Pat, and all his family and loved ones are in our thoughts today. And we know how many football fans will be greatly saddened by this news.

Despite his own health issues, Jack gave our Foundation unstinting support over the years. He regularly attended charity events and met with fundraisers, even celebrating his 80th birthday with us, and never failed to make everyone laugh.

Rivals as players in the 1950s and 1960s, and again as national managers during Italia 90 - Jack with the Republic of Ireland and Sir Bobby with England - Jack was of Sir Bobby’s generation and came from a similar North East mining background.

In typical fashion, asked why he was helping support our Foundation, Jack replied in his broad Ashington accent: “Because Bob was always a good lad.”

He was ‘the face’ of Northumberland Tea, which is marketed as ‘The best cup since 1966!’, a reference, of course, to Jack’s World Cup win with England that year.

A percentage of the tea’s profits are donated to our charity and Jack took an active part in its delivery, often accompanying his close friends Helen and Bill Logan, the couple behind Northumberland Tea, as they dropped off at shops across the North East.

Lady Elsie says: “Jack was a great friend and a wonderful supporter of our cancer charity. He’d come out to events and meet with fundraisers, and people were always so thrilled to meet a World Cup winner.

“He had such a way about him. He’d just make us all smile. I feel for Pat and the family after their great loss and they have our heartfelt sympathy.”

We’re very grateful for all the help Jack gave the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation – and for all the wonderful memories he has given us. We will miss him.
Sad news.

Just a hugely likeable character, but like his brother Bob, "one that got away". How could a couple of football daft lads from Ashington ever have been allowed out of Northumberland?

He's died at the age of 85 so he must have been 20 when we won the FA Cup in 1955 and Bob would have been 18. Insert the pair of them into that side and we'd surely have never have slipped and slid into the mess of the late 50s / early 60s. They were both fantastically loyal one-club men - over 750 games each for Leeds and Man United! Sod the Fairs Cup, we should have been regularly playing your Real Madrids, Benficas and Inter Milans having won the league every year from 1955 to 1970.

As a manager.... well, probably best if he hadn't really. We went from watching Keegan, Waddle, Beardsley, McDermott, McCreery, Wharton and Anderson (I remember us beating Man City 5-0 - imagine it) under Arthur Cox to the silky skills of George Reilly, Gary Megson, Pat Heard, Ian Baird and Tony Cunningham under Big Jack. And Peter Beardsley playing as a right winger. Horrible.

Didn't stop me liking him though. Not many people have the balls to say "bollocks to you then, I'm off" when they get stick off home fans, but Jack did the first time it happened and I actually love that. If you don't have respect for yourself, why the hell should anyone else?

And it did him no harm - I bet he never had to buy himself a drink in Dublin, and he saw out the last 24 years of his life doing exactly what he loved - sitting next to a river in Northumberland with his fishing rod.

Cheers, Jack!
Peter Reid eats bananas with his feet.
R.I.P Jack another local hero gone.
Aye one of a kind. RIP big Jack. Another legend gone.

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