FIFA President pays tribute to Jack Charlton
Aged 85, Charlton passed away last Friday night and football supporters around the world have been remembering a man who achieved success as a player and in management.
Tributes have continued to pour in for Charlton, who won seven different trophies as a player with Leeds United and was part of England's FIFA World Cup triumph on home soil in 1966. As a manager, he led Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United before taking charge of Ireland in 1986.
Over the course of two decades, Charlton - who became affectionaley known by Irish supporters as 'Big Jack' - guided the Irish team to the UEFA European Championships in 1988, as well as two FIFA World Cup tournaments in 1990 and 1994 respectively.
In his letter to President McAnaney, Gianni Infantino wrote: “I would like to express my sincerest and heartfelt condolences on the passing of legendary player and coach, Jack Charlton. Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel for this loss affecting Irish football.
“Manager of the Republic of Ireland National Team for a decade, Jack Charlton led one of their most talented generations to their first UEFA European Football Championship in 1988 in West Germany, their maiden FIFA World Cup in 1990 in Italy, reaching the quarter-finals, as well as the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA.
“FIFA World Cup winner with England in 1966, he played his whole career with Leeds United FC, spending over two decades at the club, and notably winning the Football League First Division title in 1969, one FA Cup, one Football League Cup and one Charity Shield.
"A legendary figure for England, Leeds United FC and the Republic of Ireland, his legacy and achievements, and in particular his friendly personality, his loyalty and his human qualities will not be forgotten, and he will be truly missed. Loved and adored in the Republic of Ireland, a kind, warm-hearted and genuine person, he will forever stay in our memories.
"On behalf of the international football community, I wish to extend our deepest sympathy to the Football Association of Ireland, and to Jack's family, his friends and loved ones. Our thoughts are with all of you. We hope that these memories and our words of support may help bring some peace and solace at this difficult time."
An online book of condolences has been on FAI.ie for the past number of days, with over 16,500 visitors leaving messages for the former Ireland manager. Click here to leave a message