Jack Charlton's son says his "biggest joy" was success with Ireland

John Charlton said his father's "biggest joy" was his success as Republic of Ireland manager.
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James Cox

Jack Charlton will be forever remembered in Ireland for guiding the national team to its first major tournaments, and making a nation dream.

The football legend passed away in July aged 85 after a battle with lymphoma and dementia.

A new documentary about his life, Finding Jack Charlton, has just been released and it charts his stellar playing career, time as Ireland manager and the latter years of his life.

His son John appeared on Monday night's Claire Byrne Live to talk about Charlton's legacy, and he revealed the “biggest joy” in his career was guiding Ireland to the European Championship in 1988 and two World Cups, Italia '90 and USA '94.

This may come as a surprise as Charlton was part of the team that won the 1966 World Cup with England during his playing career.


“One of the things fairly early in the film, he says that the biggest joy for him was what he did for Ireland, above winning the World Cup with England,” said John.

John Chalrton appeared on Claire Byrne Live.

He added: “He thoroughly enjoyed his time with Ireland. Where we live in the north east of England, the Irish people are very much like the north-eastern people. Because of that he enjoyed his time in Ireland, he loved a pint of Guinness!"

John was part of the backroom staff during his father's time as Ireland manager, and he recalled Charlton mulling over team selections with him over a drink

“The day before he told the players what the team was, we would go for a walk, just me and him, we would go for a walk and find a bar somewhere. We used to sit down, have a pint and he'd say to me, 'what team would you pick?'

"He'd bounce his ideas off me, and then he'd go back and make his decision. There was a couple of occasions that he would change his selection, but he knew that he could trust me.”

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