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Stephen Kenny among latest pay...
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Stephen Kenny among latest paying tribute to 'exceptional' Jack Charlton

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

14:24 12 Jul 2020

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has paid tribute to one of his predecessors in the role, Jack Charlton, after his passing at the age of 85.

Leeds United legend Charlton died surrounded by his family in Northumberland on Friday, with tributes flowing in for him from the footballing community and beyond.

Charlton led the Republic to their first-ever major tournament at the 1988 European Championships, before successive World Cup finals appearances in 1990 and 1994.

Stephen Kenny today told FAI.ie that what Charlton achieved as Irish manager was extraordinary.

"It was very sad to hear the news yesterday of Jack’s passing. To qualify for three major tournaments, two World Cups and a European Championship, was an exceptional achievement.

"Those tournaments also showed us how a successful Irish football team can lift and inspire the nation. May he rest in peace."

Former international goalkeeper Alan Kelly won his first cap under Charlton, and was a member of the World Cup squad at USA '94. He was another who paid tribute to his former boss.

"Big Jack was a legend on both sides of the Irish Sea, a legend in England for winning the World Cup and a legend in Ireland for what he did for our national team.

"You just have to look at what he achieved as a player with Leeds United and England and as a manager with Ireland to realise that his legendary tag is fully deserved. He was such a huge character and such a great man.

"When he walked into a room, you waited to see what he was about to say. There was always a nugget in there when he spoke and always something worth listening to, no matter what the subject.

"I can only thank Jack for everything he did for Ireland and for me as a player. It was a pleasure to play for him and to know him and my heart goes out to Pat, John, Deborah and Peter and all the Charlton family.”

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