As we all know a Legend left this Planet on Friday Night his name was Jack Charlton, he was an Englishman by birth but he was Irish at Heart. When he came into manage The Republic Of Ireland back in 1986 many Irish people were not happy and seen it as a controversial decision to bring in an Englishman considering all the History between England and Ireland but soon that Englishman would become an Irishman at Heart.
I am 14 going on 15 and I was born in 2005 so Jack’s era ended nearly 10 years before I was born but the Legacy he left and what he did for Irish Football and The people of Ireland still stands strong in Ireland today and he is still talked about as the saviour to Irish Football as he let us Irish people dream, now I wasn’t born then but I know how much it meant to all of us and it means a lot to me as well as everyone else today. He came in and the style of Football may not have been pretty, entertaining, or exciting but he made a good bunch of lads into some of The World’s best players and they made that style of Football exciting to watch as they were getting points and winning games.
Before Jack came in Irish Football was very stale and going through a rough patch, we had good players but it just wouldn’t work and we had never qualified for a major Tournament but when Big Jack came in that all changed he let the players play Football and The people of Ireland to dream. After 10 years in charge of us we weren’t a team who had never qualified for anything we were a team who had played well in The European Championship’s and The World Cup as we reached a still record best Quarter Final’s in our first attempt and The Round Of 16 in 1994. We may not have won a World Cup but after World Cup 90 it certainly felt like it as Hundreths Of Thousands of Irish people welcomed them home, I wonder what the Fans would have been like if we won The Tournament. Jack brought a Country together that didn’t really have anything before he came in, this is how the influence of Jack changed a Nation as a whole and he inspired Irish Football and made some of the best Footballer’s to ever grace this country into who they were in their prime and we wouldn’t be where we are in Irish Football today if it wasn’t for him and we have to thank him for that. Jack saved Irish Football and I wasn’t born then but I still know what Jack’s inspiration and legacy meant and still means today to the people of Ireland, Rest easy big Jack, you will always be remembered, loved and never forgotten. -Tiarnán O’Kelly