Pat Charlton is so thankful for Irish support and heartfelt tributes to Big Jack
Pat and the Charlton family have been inundated with flowers, letters and cards since the 1966 World Cup winner - and driving force behind Ireland’s arrival on the world football stage - passed away at the age of 85 on July 10th.
As the FAI confirmed over 20,000 signatures on their virtual Book of Condolences for the Charlton family, Pat spoke to FAI.ie to offer her thanks to Jack’s Army.
“I am so grateful to everyone in Ireland who has taken time out to send us their condolences, it means so much to me and to the family to know that Jack meant so much to everyone in Ireland and I would like to share this message with the Irish people.
“Jack loved his time with the Irish team and it is clear from all the cards, letters and flowers that have arrived at our house just how much the people of Ireland loved him as well.
“I cannot tell you how much that means to me and to John, Deborah and Peter and all the family as we try to come to terms with Jack’s passing. Every day we have received more messages, more cards and more flowers from Ireland, from England and all across the world.
“It has given me great comfort to see all those letters arrive from Ireland and to see the reaction to his death right across the country. To know he was so loved in Ireland means such a lot to us all, it really does.”
Eldest son John, who shared so many great nights with his dad as part of the Irish team’s backroom team, has also thanked the Green Army for their support in this difficult time.
“We are still coming to terms with my dad’s passing but all the support we have received, here in England and from Ireland, has made such a difference for the family,” said John.
“I know thousands of people would have travelled from Ireland to say goodbye to my dad at the funeral but for COVID-19 and I know they marked the day right across Ireland which we are so grateful for.
“The organisers of the event in Ashington on the morning of the funeral have told us there were 15,000 people out on the streets to say their goodbyes. I can only imagine what the funeral would have been like if it wasn’t subject to those COVID restrictions.
“We saw the Irish tricolours in Ashington and I know from reading the letters and the cards we have received from Ireland, that many fans would have travelled over for the funeral if they could have.
“I want to thank them all on behalf of the family. Some of those who have written to us had met my dad over the years, others are just fans who wanted to say thank you and to sympathise with us all. It means so much to us.
“We will get over to Ireland when the time is right and with the help of the FAI, we will have an Irish send-off for my dad. We all look forward to that but in the meantime, we want to thank you all for everything over the last fortnight. Your support has been really special for us all.”
Pictured Above: Pat Charlton with grandchildren John (aged 12), Niamh (aged 10) and Róisín (aged 7) with cards and flowers sent in memory of her husband Jack.