A new documentary shows World Cup winner Jack Charlton in the final few months of his life – and offers a heartbreaking glimpse into his battle with dementia.
Documentary Finding Jack Charlton shows the former Leeds United defender and Republic of Ireland manager at his Northumberland home.
In one tragic scene, his wife Pat says: ‘They think a lot of you, don’t they, in Ireland.’
Northumberland-born Charlton – who was Republic of Ireland manager from 1986 until 1995 and led the team to victory twice – replies: ‘I have no idea.’
A new documentary shows World Cup winner Jack Charlton (pictured with his wife Pat) in the final few months of his life – and offers a heartbreaking glimpse into his battle with dementia
In one tragic scene, his wife Pat (left) says: ‘They think a lot of you, don’t they, in Ireland.’ Northumberland-born Charlton (pictured) – who was Republic of Ireland manager from 1986 until 1995 and led the team to victory twice – replies: ‘I have no idea’
The film was shot in 18 months and shows footage from his time as Ireland’s manager – as well as years later while suffering from dementia.
He passed away on July 10 at the age of 85. He is survived by wife Pat – who he met as a teenager after signing for Leeds United – and their three children, John, Deborah and Peter.
Charlton had been diagnosed with lymphoma in the last year and was also battling dementia.
In the trailer for the documentary – which will hit cinemas in November and BBC 2 next year – Mrs Charlton reveals: ‘He is not the same Jack. It is dementia.’
Charlton is pictured at Gordon Banks’s funeral in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, in March 2019
England brothers Jack and Bobby Charlton sink to their knees as they celebrate victory at the World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium
Charlton says: ‘I could not remember a lot of the memories.’
Mrs Charlton replies: ‘It’s a shame because he’s had some good memories.
Niall Quinn – former Arsenal and Sunderland player – revealed that Charlton wasn’t the predicted pick for Ireland captain.
Jack Charlton holds the World Cup aloft as he parades it around Wembley with teammates Ray Wilson (left), George Cohen (second left) and Bobby Moore (second right) following their 4-2 win over West Germany on July 30, 1966
He says: ‘Ireland was engulfed with the war and conflict.
‘No one would have given odds on having an Englishman managing the team.’
The trailer also gives a sneak peak into the notes Charlton kept throughout his football career, with one reading: ‘Be a Dictator – but be a nice one.’
Charton’s younger brother and fellow footballer Sir Bobby – who together with Charton helped lead England to victory in the 1966 World Cup – said the Ireland manager was ‘an uncompromising character’.
Two nations – the Republic of Ireland and England – looked up to Jack Charlton (pictured in 1995); an iconic figure
Pictured: Jack Charlton with brother Bobby during an England training session at Stamford Bridge in 1965
Charton warned one Ireland player: ‘If you don’t get off the bus today, you will never play for the country again.’
Never-before-seen footage of the Ireland team meeting Pope John Paul II in Rome in 1990 is also shown in the trailer.
Directors Gabriel Clarke and Pete Thomas told The Mirror: ‘He led a fascinating life and his achievement in football is unique.
‘To tell his story against the background of the final year of his life, when he faced perhaps his greatest challenge, enabled us to frame his incredible career from a whole new perspective.’
JACK CHARLTON’S FOOTBALL CAREER
PLAYING – DOMESTIC
- 1952-1973, Leeds United, 629 appearances, 70 goals
PLAYING – INTERNATIONAL
- 1965-1970, England, 35 appearances, six goals
- 1973–1977, Middlesbrough
- 1977–1983, Sheffield Wednesday
- 1984, Middlesbrough (caretaker)
- 1984–1985, Newcastle United
- 1986–1996, Republic of Ireland
Charlton was the eldest son of miner Bob and his wife Cissie, who went on to have three more boys.
He followed his father at the pit for a brief spell before leaving Northumberland to join the Leeds United ground staff aged 15.
He stayed there for a remarkable 23 years, a spell broken only by National Service, playing a major part in the club turning into a major European force.
He was almost aged 30 when he made his England debut, but the late developer turned good at the just the right time, and was one of the Wembley heroes on that famous day in 1966.
Outside football, Charlton loved his country pursuits and was a keen fisherman. He remained a hugely popular figure in his retirement, with many fans sharing stories of how he always had time for supporters when he was out and about in his beloved North East.
He is survived by wife Pat and their three children, John, Deborah and Peter. Charlton had been diagnosed with lymphoma in the last year and was also battling dementia.
He and Pat were married for 62 years.
After his death, his family said in a statement: ‘Jack died peacefully on Friday, July 10 at the age of 85. He was at home in Northumberland, with his family by his side.
‘As well as a friend to many, he was a much-adored husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. We cannot express how proud we are of the extraordinary life he led and the pleasure he brought to so many people in different countries and from all walks of life.
‘He was a thoroughly honest, kind, funny and genuine man who always had time for people. His loss will leave a huge hole in all our lives but we are thankful for a lifetime of happy memories.’