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11th Jul 2020

Robbie Keane’s words sum up what Jack Charlton did for a generation of Irish children

James Fenton

The nation is in mourning today after it was announced that former Ireland manager Jack Charlton has died at the age of 85.

Tributes have been pouring in for the legendary manager from fans and players alike and Robbie Keane has summed up what Jack Charlton did for a generation of Irish children.

Although the pair never crossed paths in the international set-up, Robbie grew up idolising ‘Jackie’s Army’, much like every other child in the country. Most of us didn’t go on to play in a World Cup like Keane did but his words this morning sum up how all those wonderful moments that Jack created allowed the youngsters of the 80s and 90s to dream.

Alongside a photo of himself and Jack, the Dubliner posted: ‘Thank you Jack. You changed Irish football for the better, you gave hope to young kids like myself that it was possible to play in World Cups and that we weren’t there to make the numbers up. You will live forever in our hearts, we’re all part of Jackie’s Army. Sleep well, Jack.’

The news that Jack Charlton has passed away was confirmed this morning, leading to an outpouring of tributes from Ireland and beyond. Other former Ireland players have been sharing their memories of their manager…

Their words speak volumes about the man that Ireland has lost.