Jack Charlton anecdotes: He fell asleep in his audience with the Pope

Jack Charlton anecdotes: He kept his World Cup medal in a coal bucket and fell asleep in his audience with the Pope

  • Jack Charlton was a larger-than-life character with a treasure trove of stories 
  • Charlton was known to forget his players’ names as Republic of Ireland manager
  • He also fell asleep when his Ireland squad went to visit Pope John Paul II 

Jack Charlton will be remembered as a World Cup hero for two nations.

He was also as a larger-than-life character with a treasure trove of stories.

Here are some of the more remarkable anecdotes either about or told by the former defender over an enormously successful playing and management career.

There are some fantastic anecdotes about Jack Charlton, who sadly passed away aged 85

He urged Bobby Moore not to play that pass

Commentator Clive Tyldesley remembered a tale told by Charlton about Bobby Moore shortly after the World Cup-winning captain’s death.

Recalling the final moments of that unforgettable day at Wembley in 1966, Tyldesley said: ‘Jack and Bobby had just repelled another West German attack, and the ball fell to Bobby. Jack recounted he bellowed across to Bobby: ‘Row Z!’.

Charlton told Bobby Moore not to play his famous pass, which ended up at Geoff Hurst’s feet

Instead of hoofing it out of play, Moore looked up and picked out a long, searching pass, to which Charlton shouted: ‘Nooo!’

The pass ended up at the feet of Geoff Hurst and the rest was history. In his speech, Charlton was said to have recalled: ‘I still wanted to b*****k him. I still wanted to tell him ‘don’t ever do that again.

‘But then I realised: he could do that and I couldn’t. He was different from me, I could never be as good as Bobby Moore.’

He kept his winner’s medal in a coal bucket

Perhaps another sign of how humble Charlton was could be seen in what he did with the medal he won in 1966.

John Anderson, who played under Charlton for both Newcastle and the Republic of Ireland, said he made the astonishing discovery on a visit to his manager’s home in Northumberland.

Charlton’s humble nature was shown by him keeping his World Cup medal in a coal bucket

He told the PA news agency: ‘I remember myself and Kenny Wharton going up to see him and, remember the World Cup coins that you used to collect with the players’ faces on?

‘He had a gold set of them and they were in a coal bucket, and beside them in the coal bucket was his World Cup winner’s medal.

‘He didn’t blink an eye. ‘They’re in there’, he said, nodding at the coal bucket beside the fire.’

He was known to forget his players’ names

Charlton could be known to call his players by their positions rather than their names, and a story recounted by former Ireland midfielder Liam Brady perhaps explains why.

The mercurial midfielder said of his former boss: ‘Jack Charlton’s first words to me were, ‘You’re number eight, Ian’.

‘I said, ‘Ian Brady was the Moors murderer, Jack’.’

He fell asleep in his audience with the Pope

There were plenty of folk tales from Charlton’s hugely successful spell as Ireland manager, but one that perhaps topped them all was when he promised the team a visit to the Pope during Italia ’90 – and came good on it.

The excitement of the big day was not quite enough to keep Charlton awake, however, as he recalled in a TV documentary how he drifted off while yards away from John Paul II.

Charlton fell asleep when the Republic of Ireland squad met Pope John Paul II in 1990

After the Pope read his lesson for 20 minutes, Charlton remembered, six other bishops then proceeded to get up and read the same lesson in various languages.

Telling the story on Jack Charlton – The Irish Years, Charlton said: ‘We sat through this and I found it very hard to stay awake. I was very aware because there was a bank of photographers over the other side.’

Charlton continued: ‘The Pope was on the third bit of his blessing and he was looking right at me and he had his hand in the air like that (raises hand).

‘As I woke up, I thought he was waving at me so I stood up and waved back at him.’

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article

Create Account

Log In Your Account