Former Ireland boss Jack Charl...


Former Ireland boss Jack Charlton to be honoured with statue

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Work has begun on a statue to commemorate legendary Republic of Ireland manager, Jack Charlton. 

He is to be immortalised with a sculpture in his home town of Ashington.

"Big Jack" died in July of 2020 at the age of 85, just after the 30th anniversary of his leading Ireland to their first World Cup finals appearance in Italy.

Along with his brother, Bobby, Charlton was born and raised in the Northumberland mining town of Ashington.

The town's council confirmed this week that award-winning sculptor Douglas Jennings has been chosen to carry out work on the statue.

It will be based off of a photograph of Charlton in his later years taken at Hirst Park, where he learned to play football as a child.

Jennings is known for his "hyper realistic" statues that captivate "with its level of detail and naturalistic style."

Shortly after Charlton's death, local town councillor Liam Lavery launched a fundraising campaign to have a statue of the 1966 World Cup winner erected in Ashington.

Councillor Lavery said, "After months of hard work fundraising behind the scenes, I am thrilled that we have reached the requisite amount of over £50,000 for this project to proceed.

"The last year has been so hard for so many people but the amount of support we've received from individuals, businesses, community organisations, trade unions, councillors and Ashington Town Council has been incredible.

"Work on the statue should be underway very soon and I am extremely excited for the day when it is officially opened. You can see from Douglas’ work that he is exceptional at his job.

“I would like to also thank everyone who submitted their interest in carrying out the work.

"This will be a fitting tribute to a man who is loved to bits in Ashington, the UK and across the world."

One of Ashington's other favourite sons - Jackie Milburn - already has a statue in the town.

There have also been calls for Charlton to be commemorated with a permanent memorial in Ireland.

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