Sunday, July 12, 2020

Jack Charlton

It was thirty years ago, on June 25th, when I had the first 'buzz' from watching a football game.

The match was being played in the 1990 World Cup. With me being half-Irish, I was cheering on the Republic of Ireland in their game against Romania.

At this stage in the tournament, the Irish had qualified from the group stages and were in the final sixteen.

The game went to a penalty shootout. 

Ireland ended up winning the tense shootout with a score of 5-4. I remember running around my house cheering the win and for some random, or maybe not so random, reason I grabbed the clothes airer that was positioned in the kitchen drying off clothes and threw it to the floor.

I immediately thought to myself how crazy it was for me to do that. I occasionally think back to that moment each time I use an airer to dry off my clothes. It brings a chuckle.

Unfortunately, Ireland came up against the host side, Italy, in the quarter-finals. They lost 1-0.

I've thought about the 1990 World Cup a lot this summer. I found myself doing it yet again yesterday morning when I found out that Jack Charlton had passed away at the age of eighty-five.

Charlton, who spent his entire club playing career at Leeds United and was on the 1966 England football team that won the World Cup, was the man who managed that Irish side in 1990.

And because he was coach of that team, he is the man mainly responsible for that childhood memory of mine that has lasted with me for all those years.

Jack Charlton Shredded Wheat Commercial

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