Hundreds of people visit Leeds United to remember Jack Charlton | Soccer

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They came in hundreds, paying homage to the man known worldwide as the Big Jack. But beneath the stands of Elland Road in West Yorkshire, Jack Charlton was most often known as an adopted Loiner, a citizen of Leeds.Charlton, who died Friday at age 85, has spent almost a quarter of his life organizing the defense of Leeds United, retiring as club man after making record numbers apparitions.

“He was a Loiner adopted beyond a shadow of a doubt; the impact he has left on all of us as Leeds United fans has made him one of us. He will always be one of us, ”said Scowen Sykes, as bouquets of flowers piled up behind him, a few meters from the memorials erected for Norman Hunter, his long-time center back who died in April.







A fan lays flowers on the ground in memory of Jack Charlton at Elland Road on Saturday. Photography: Molly Darlington / Reuters

Beyond West Yorkshire, Charlton would reach greatness on the world stage, winning the World Cup with England in 1966 as half of Britain’s largest pair of sports siblings, the other being his younger brother Bobby.

Far away adopted, Charlton would also achieve the equally rare feat of becoming an honorary Irishman by reinventing the Republic of Ireland as a crazy football nation and guiding them to the quarterfinals of the World Cup at Italia 90.

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