News & Media

Big Jack defined Irish sport for a generation

11 July 2020

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Health and Disability Services

Paying tribute to football legend Jack Charlton on his death at 85, Labour Party Leader Alan Kelly remembered how his management of the Irish team brought us to success that we had never thought possible, and defined sport for a generation.

Deputy Kelly said:

"It is a sad start to the weekend to hear of the death of football legend Jack Charlton but over 85 years he lived a full and successful life. While we will always remember him for his management of the Irish football team, as a player he also won a World Cup and had a successful career with Leeds United that showcases his lifetime of achievement.

"Big Jack was a larger than life character but for those of us who came of age in the late 80's and 1990's he defined sport for a generation. The memories of the World Cup's in Italy, and the US, along with Euro 88 have entered our folk memory. It was a golden age for Irish football.

"I grew up addicted to watching and following his Irish teams play and like so many others they were a huge part of my childhood and teenage years.

"We will always be part of Jackie's army. May he rest in peace and on behalf of the Labour Party I want to extend my sympathies to his family, friends and all supporters of Irish football who will grieve his loss."