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Leeds players pay tribute to Jack Charlton after 1966 World Cup winner in England passed away at the age of 85

Leeds players pay tribute to Jack Charlton ahead of the Swansea clash following the death of the legendary World Cup winner in 1966 at the age of 85

  • Jack Charlton died peacefully at his home on Friday at the age of 85
  • The defender was part of England’s famous World Cup-winning squad in 1966
  • He represented Leeds United with distinction for 21 years and played 773 games
  • The club paid tribute to him at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday afternoon

Leeds United paid respect to the late Jack Charlton ahead of Sunday’s game against Swansea after the World Championship hero died in England in 1966 at the age of 85.

The former defender died on Friday at his Northumberland home after suffering from dementia and lymphoma.

Charlton, who played with Leeds United for 21 years and later led the Republic of Ireland, was the brother of fellow countryman Bobby. The duo both played in the match that won the World Cup.

A statement from the Charlton family announcing his death expressed their pride in their “beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.” They added that he died peacefully with his loved ones by his side.

The football legend is survived by his wife Pat Kemp and their three children.

Born in the mining village of Ashington, Northumberland, in 1935, Charlton was the oldest of four brothers and his father was a miner. The siblings once shared the same bed because of the family’s tight finances.

His granddaughters, Kate and Emma Wilkinson, shared their own heartfelt tribute and photos on Twitter, both saying he was a ‘kind and real’ man.

Tribute also came from the football world. His former teammate Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored three goals in the 1966 World Cup final to help England win the trophy, said he was a ‘great and sweet character and will be very much missed’.

Leeds, which Charlton played for all his career, said they were ‘deeply saddened’ by his death and the English football team tweeted that they were ‘devastated’ by the news.

The Premier League said players would wear black bracelets and hold a minute of silence before taking off during this weekend’s games in tribute to Charlton.

But former Ireland player Ray Houghton, who played under Charlton when he was the manager of the national team, said in his own tribute that it was a ‘shame’ that the World Cup winner had not been knighted for his football performance.

Charlton made a club record of 773 appearances for Leeds over a 21-year period between 1952 and 1973 and was considered one of the best defenders of the game.

He helped the Yorkshire club win the title in the second division in 1963-64 and then in the first division in 1968-69.

This successful Leeds-based team also won the FA Cup in 1972, the League Cup in 1968 and two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups in 1968 and 1971.

Despite being called to the English team only days before his 30th birthday, Charlton won 35 caps and, along with his younger brother Bobby, raised the Jules Rimet Trophy at Wembley in 1966.

He also helped England finish third at the 1968 European Championship and was named Football Writer’s Association Footballer of the Year in 1967.

After hanging up his boots, Charlton worked as a manager and Middlesbrough took the top flight in 1974 before moving on to Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United.

But he is most fondly remembered as the manager of Ireland. He led them to the quarterfinals of the 1990 World Cup and they also qualified for Euro 1988 and the 1994 World Cup.

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