World Cup winner and Sheffield Wednesday legend Jack Charlton today turns 80 and everyone at Hillsborough would like to wish him many happy returns!
Big Jack was part of England’s famous World Cup-winning squad of 1966 and played his part in the final against West Germany, where the Three Lions sealed the world’s most prestigious football prize after a 4-2 extra time win at Wembley.
After hanging up his boots in 1973, Charlton stepped into management and kick-started the revival of Sheffield Wednesday at the lowest point in the club’s history.
Charlton took the hot-seat at Hillsborough in October 1977 with the Owls bottom of the third tier but managed to lead the club to safety, thus successfully completing his primary mission as boss.
Following a 14th placed finished in 1978/79 where the Owls achieved a club record of 17 clean sheets – only recently equalled in 2014/15 – Wednesday then gained promotion back to the second tier in 1979/80.
The Owls finished third in the division with Terry Curran as the league’s top scorer.
Under Charlton, Wednesday quickly adapted to life back in Division Two before the football great left Hillsborough in May 1983.
In more recent times, Jack has become a big supporter of his friend, the late Sir Bobby Robson’s cancer charity and is the Ambassador for Northumberland Tea, which donates money to the Foundation from every box of tea sold.
As part of a birthday treat for the football legend, Jack was surprised with a birthday cake and took great pleasure blowing out the candle, alongside charity fundraisers, Sir Bobby’s wife Lady Elsie and son, Paul.
Jack said: “It was a lovely surprise to get a cake and to see Lady Elsie again.
“Bob was a great lad and a very good friend and it gives me a lot of pleasure to support the work of the Foundation whenever I can.”