Jack Charlton

Jack Charlton
Image from: freelargeimages.com

John 'Jack' Charlton

Current Club: N/A.

Previous Clubs: Leeds United.

Loan Clubs: N/A.

International: England 35 caps 6 goals.

Trophies Won: English First Division (Premier League) 1968/69. English Second Division (Championship) 1963/64. FA Cup 1972. Football League Cup 1968. Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1968, 1971. British Home Championship 1964/65, 1965/66, 1967/68, 1968/69. FIFA World Cup 1966. FWA Footballer of the Year 1967.

Jack Charlton was big, imposing central defender who was a big part of Leeds United's glory years under Don Revie and part of the defensive solidity that England's sole World Cup win was based on. While he was most known for being fiery, intimidating and always ready to do whatever it took to win, he was far more than that. Yes, he was big, strong in the air, strong in the tackle and gave as good as he got, Jack Charlton was also an intelligent player.

Once he focused on his game, and had convinced Revie that he was not a centre forward, he was the organiser at the back, the man who told his fellow defenders where and when to move. He set out the zonal marking system, organised the defence on set pieces and generally was the leader at the back, though he would never take the captaincy out of superstition.

In his younger days he was a bit of a lad, struggling badly to focus on his football due to wild nights out. Then he got married and settled down a lot, though still lacked full focus on football as Revie tried him out as a striker after Leeds lost legendary Welsh centre back/centre forward. Charlton had replaced him at the back when Charles went up front, Revie wanted to see if Charlton could then replace Charles' goals too, but Jack was never happy as a striker.

His unhappiness led to two near moves, to Manchester United and Liverpool, but, after they fell through, he settled down and focused fully. Jack's form was so good that, just a month shy of his 30th birthday, he was brought into the England set up and stayed there for four years. His biggest weakness of all was not the lack of focus, it was his rashness, his liability to react when fouled. He would even go so far as to chase after an opponent who had kicked him while up field, leaving a gap at the back.

Charlton was someone who was always willing to try out new ideas, taking his coaching badges in the 50s, while still only a young player, and he was one of the first to stand in front of the keeper when his team was taking corners. It was one of the reasons the legend of 'Dirty Leeds' came about, as that was something that was considered unsportsmanlike at the time, nowadays it is normal. Jack was not really a dirty player, he was hard, scary even, but he was fair, despite the 'little black book' of players he wanted revenge on.