The residents of Ashington lined the streets to pay their respects to football legend, and one of our own, Jack Charlton OBE DL ahead of his funeral today (21 July).
Jack was part of the successful England football team that won the World Cup in 1966. He then went on to manage the Republic of Ireland national team from 1986 to 1996. In more than 20 years with Leeds United, he made 773 appearances and won the 1969 league title and the FA Cup in 1972.
Jack died peacefully at home in Northumberland with his family by his side, at the age of 85, on the 10 July. Jack’s funeral cortege visited Ashington to provide an opportunity for residents to say a final goodbye before the funeral at Newcastle Crematorium.
The funeral cortege left the Charlton family home before travelling along Newbiggin Road and North Seaton Road into Ashington town centre. Well-wishers applauded and cheered as the cortege passed with many waving flags and banners. Floral tributes in the hearse included a football and a red England shirt with ‘Jackie 5’ on it.
Jack was the elder brother of former Manchester United forward Bobby Charlton, who was also a teammate in England's World Cup final victory. For a town the size of Ashington it is truly remarkable that two of its sons were part of a winning World Cup football team, the like of which may never be seen again.
As soon as the cortege appeared on Alexandra Road people started to applaud and a Northumberland piper accompanied the procession part of the way. The cortege stopped outside Hirst Welfare Centre, where the Charlton brothers played football as children and the procession slowed as it passed close to the terraced house on Beatrice Street, where the Charlton family once lived.
The cortege then made its way to a private service at the crematorium in Newcastle, where 20 relatives were expected to attend due to the coronavirus restrictions.
His son John said ‘Many will know now that, as a family, we wanted to give local people the opportunity to say goodbye to Jack and pay their respects before he's laid to rest. Jack was incredibly proud of his hometown, which is why we made the decision to take the funeral cortege around Ashington.’
Jack Charlton OBE DL RIP