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'Jack's passing will be felt in Ireland more than anywhere else'

Mick McCarthy and Niall Quinn have paid tribute to Jack Charlton who passed away this morning.

Jack Charlton with Mick McCarthy.
Jack Charlton with Mick McCarthy.

MICK MCCARTHY AND Niall Quinn have led Irish football’s tributes to Jack Charlton, the former manager of the Irish team who died this morning, aged 85.

Quinn and McCarthy played key roles in Ireland’s success under Big Jack, McCarthy captaining the team in Italia 90, Quinn scoring the goal that resulted in Ireland making it out of their pool and reaching the round of 16 in that tournament.

“I’m sure I’m not the only Irish person who shed a tear or two this morning,” Quinn told FAI.ie. “I’m devastated. I am finding it very hard to put into words what Jack meant to the whole country, not just to me and to those of us lucky enough to have played for him in an Ireland shirt.
“Jack Charlton led the band. He brought us, as a players and fans, to places we never thought possible beforehand and gave us so many precious moments. He changed lives. For his players, he gave us the best days of our lives.

“This news has hit me with a bang. We have so much to be grateful to Jack for and I am truly saddened, like so many others, with this news today. Our thoughts go to Pat and Jack’s family who shared that wonderful journey with us. May he rest in peace.”

Captain when Ireland reached the World Cup quarter-finals at Italia ‘90, McCarthy last spoke to Jack on the day after he celebrated his 85th birthday in May.

“I loved the bones of the man, I am devastated with this news and my heart goes out to Pat and the family,” said McCarthy. “Jack’s passing will touch Ireland, England and the football world but the loss to football will be felt in Ireland more than anywhere else.

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niall-quinn-and-manager-jack-charlton Niall Quinn with Jack Charlton in 1993. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“English fans will always remember Jack as one of their World Cup winners in 1966 but what he did with Ireland will, I suspect, mean even more to our fans and the country.

“He turned a really good team into a team that qualified for tournaments and made an impact at them. He changed my life, he changed everything for all of us who played for Ireland and just look at the memories we have.

“We will always have Stuttgart and Genoa and Giants Stadium thanks to Jack. That’s how we will remember him, with a great big smile on his face. I know this is a sad day but we will remember the great days as well.

“I did speak to him very briefly the day after his birthday but it was difficult due to his health. I told him I loved the bones of him that day and I always will.”

FAI President Gerry McAnaney also expressed his sympathies to the Charlton family on behalf of the FAI.  “He transformed our sport,” McAnaney said. “He changed the way we played football, of course, but he also changed the way the country looked at Irish football. He gave Ireland a team to be proud of and the country took him to our hearts in return.”

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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