"He's adored": Jack Charlton fondly remembered by ex-player John Aldridge

11 July 2020, 10:55

By Seán Hickey

Former Liverpool striker and Ireland international John Aldridge looked back on his time spent with Jack Charlton, who passed away aged 85.

"He was just a massive massive presence of a man. The first time I met him was when I was playing for Ireland and I was just in awe" John Aldridge told Andrew Castle as the news came through that the World Cup winner had passed away aged 85.

The former footballer insisted that "it was an honour to play from him" and added that he "was very lucky" to have been a part of such historic moments with Mr Charlton.

"I'm just looking back in so much fondness" said Mr Aldridge this morning as he could not speak highly enough for his former manager when playing for the Republic of Ireland.

As a manager, Mr Charlton brought Ireland to their first ever international tournament in Euro '88 and one of the country's most decorated periods in the sport, qualifying for World Cups in 1990 and 1994.

Andrew asked about the impression he has left in Ireland, where Mr Aldridge insisted that "he's adored, he's absolutely adored."

The England World Cup winner died on Saturday aged 85
The England World Cup winner died on Saturday aged 85. Picture: PA

John Aldridge said that he was torn in his mourning of the man. He said that although he and others are saddened by the news, he only had fond memories of Mr Charlton. "He just gave us so many great memories, not just on the pitch, but off the pitch."

Mr Aldridge joked that "England players wouldn't believe what we would get away it" while he told stories of how good a manager or people Mr Charlton was and how he balanced work and play perfectly.

He added that although he enjoyed himself, he was still a tough and strict operator. He told Andrew that if you took him on as a manager and didn't do what he said, "you had no chance."

Mr Aldridge could not put his opinion of Jack Charlton better than when he told listeners that he was a leader of men and through his World Cup win in 1966, it speaks for itself.

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