Born: May 8, 1935;

Died: July 10, 2020.

JACK Charlton, who has died aged 85, achieved titanic status in football as a member of England’s World Cup-winning team in 1966, playing in all six matches of the tournament. As a club player he spent his entire two-decade career at Leeds United, and he went on to be an effective manager at Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle United and the Irish national team.

In some ways, Charlton was an unlikely candidate for a position as one of football’s heroic figures although, as well as the World Cup win, he acquired almost all the significant honours that the game has to offer.

Whereas his younger brother and national team-mate, Bobby, was regarded as one of Manchester United’s greatest-ever midfielders, noted for his attacking prowess and highly creative play, and who was for many years the record goalscorer for both his club and country, with more than 100 caps, Jack was a lanky defender who slogged away for his success, and was not called up to the England squad until he was 29.

His candid assessment of his own style was “I wasn’t very good at playing football. But I was very good at stopping other people playing football”.

This was selling himself short. With Leeds, for whom he turned out 773 times and scored 96 goals, he won the Second Division title in 1964 and, five years later, the First Division title; they won the League Cup in 1968 and the FA Cup in 1972. As a manager, he led both Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday to promotions and in the late 1980s and early 1990s he became a national hero in Ireland by taking the team to the European Championships in 1988, where they beat England, and then to the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, reaching the quarter-finals in the former.

John Charlton was born on May 8, 1935, in the mining village of Ashington in Northumberland, the eldest of four brothers who, growing up, all shared the same bed in a house with no indoor lavatory. His father Bob was a miner, but his mother Elizabeth (known as Cissie) had the maiden name Milburn: all four of her younger brothers became professional footballers, three of them at Leeds, while the legendary Newcastle United and England centre-forward Jackie Milburn was her cousin.

Despite getting his first boots at six, Jack was not particularly ambitious to become a professional player and, when offered a trial with Leeds (where his uncle Jimmy was left-back) on leaving school at 15, decided instead to take a job at the local colliery. Quickly concluding that the pits were not for him, he applied for a job with the police. Leeds repeated their offer, and he had to choose between the trial game and the police interview. He went for the former, and joined the ground staff at Elland Road.

After the youth team, third team and reserves, he got a full contract at 17 and made his debut against Doncaster Rovers in the final match of the 1952-53 season. He then spent two years doing his national service with the Household Cavalry, returning to the club in 1955, when the team secured promotion to the First Division.

He liked a pint and was for many years a keen smoker – preferably of other people’s cigarettes – and was for a while out of favor with the club. But he returned to the first team in 1957 and, after marrying Pat Kemp the following year – with Bobby, who had been taken on by Manchester United aged 15 and was already in the first team, as his best man – settled down a bit.

When, at the beginning of the 1960s, Don Revie became manager, Charlton was initially out of the picture but he eventually became a key component of the squad. He was almost taken on by Liverpool, but they balked at the £30,000 asking-price, and then by Manchester United, but in the event he stayed at Leeds until 1973, when he bowed out with a testimonial against Celtic. The Glasgow team had famously knocked Leeds out of the European Cup in 1970, in front of a record Hampden crowd of 136,505.

Charlton was nearly 30 before his England debut, against Scotland in 1965; in all he notched up 35 caps and six goals for his country, and, though selected for the full squad for the 1970 World Cup, he bowed out after their win over Czechoslovakia, in his last game, and England’s loss in the quarter finals against West Germany.

The 1966 World Cup win over Germany remains a landmark in English sport. As Bobby Charlton once declared, “I never lost the sense of wonder and gratitude that we were there together in 1966 on such a great day in the history of our nation’s sport”.

In 1973, Jack joined Middlesbrough as manager, taking them from the Second Division to the First the following year, and then finishing seventh in the 1974-75 season. In 1977 he left for Sheffield Wednesday, then bottom of the Third Division; again he secured promotion in 1980. Two years later, they missed out on promotion to the First Division by just one point. Charlton left in 1983 and the following year went back to ‘Boro as an unpaid caretaker manager, helping the club avoid relegation.

He then went to Newcastle United, but had little money to spend and lasted just over a year. The Republic of Ireland took him on as manager at the end of 1985. His transformation of the country’s fortunes, aided by a particularly gifted generation of players, made him something of a hero; in 1996 he received honorary citizenship. He also became a Freeman of the City of Dublin and is depicted, in fishing gear, in a statue at Cork Airport. Fishing, and outdoor pursuits, were an abiding passion.

Other honours included Player of the Year in 1967, Manager of the Year in 1974, the Freedom of Leeds, and induction in the English Football Hall of Fame in 2005. He was appointed OBE in 1974 and became a deputy lieutenant for Northumberland in 1997.

Though he and Bobby had a strained relationship for many years – Jack took his mother’s side when she disapproved of Bobby’s marriage – they were somewhat reconciled in later years. In 2008, Jack presented his brother with the BBC’s Lifetime Achievement award at the Sports Personality of the Year ceremony. By his marriage to Pat, he had two sons and a daughter. In later years, he suffered from lymphoma and dementia.