Jack Charlton (1935-2020) World Cup winner, Ireland football manager, supporter of the miners, anti-fascist

In Uncategorized on July 11, 2020 by kmflett

Jack Charlton at the Durham Miners Gala, 1980

Jack Charlton who has sadly died at 85 was an iconic figure in post-1945 British culture as part of the 1966 World Cup winning England team, and a football manager most significantly with the Ireland team

The media rightly carries a range of appreciations and obituaries

There has also been some coverage of the fact that Charlton along with a number of other footballing figures including Brian Clough & Terry Venables signed the founding statement of the Anti-Nazi League in 1977. Charlton had some criticisms. While the ANL was about building a broad united front to isolate the fascists of the National Front it also confronted their attempts to whip up racism when they held deliberately provocative actions.

Charlton was clear in his opposition to fascism but not happy about confronting the NF physically. This of course was a tactical not an in principle difference.

Charlton who had been born in a Northumberland mining village was a supporter of the 1984/5 miners strike and, poignantly as it is being held virtually today, a sometime attender at the Durham Miners gala.

Arthur Scargill has paid tribute to Charlton’s support for the miners strike. Charlton was Scargill’s neighbour for some years & a Leeds United fan. An exclusive Morning Star report here:

There has been some previous commentary that Charlton’s politics prevented him from becoming England manager (Brian Clough his friend was in the same boat) as they were not to the liking of ‘FA blazers’

No doubt the obituaries will focus on Charlton’s footballing career and rightly so but there was a lot more to him that.

2 Responses to “Jack Charlton (1935-2020) World Cup winner, Ireland football manager, supporter of the miners, anti-fascist”

  1. Reblogged this on Tomás Ó Flatharta and commented:
    In Ireland Jack Charlton is celebrated – he was the most successful ever manager of the Republic of Ireland soccer team. There was a political side to this cultural phenomenon – it is well explained here.

    Months before the opening 1990 game between Ireland and England in Cagliari a small group of Dublin people met in a Dublin pub, the Teachers’ Club, wondering how they could raise funds for a cash-strapped campaign seeking freedom for the Birmingham Six and other Irish political hostages in British jails. A couple of the men in the group focused on the forthcoming Battle of Cagliari, and had a brainwave : let’s organise a big screen showing. In those days that was a novel idea – we booked the scarce equipment months in advance. The staff in the Teachers’ Club did a great job installing the required technology. As the big day approached many large pubs and hotels offered to buy the equipment from the campaign, allowing g us a huge profit. We refused – the event was going ahead. The venue was overwhelmed by the crowd – mainly young, male, Dublin working class, and proudly Irish. A number of women activists joined in – a little bemused, entertained, and deeply moved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: