Last night, Virgin Media broadcast a documentary film about the life of the late great Jack Charlton, and Irish viewers were hooked.
Charlton won the 1966 World Cup with England as a player, before going on to manage the Irish team for ten years from 1986 to 1996. During his time in charge of Ireland, the national team went through an incredible run of form, beating England at Euro 88 and Italy at the 1994 World Cup – though the most memorable moment of his reign was the run to the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
Charlton became a national treasure on both sides of the Irish Sea. Last year, Charlton sadly passed away after a battle with dementia, leading to an outpouring of affection from Irish and English alike. Virgin Media’s airing of Finding Jack Charlton last night was the closer to their dementia awareness week, and was followed by an original show speaking to members of the 1990 and 1994 Irish squads about their memories of the late great.
Finding Jack Charlton really became a communal viewing experience, with many Irish viewers taking to Twitter to once again express their affection for Big Jack.
A masterpiece. I’m after staying up way too late to watch it but I’m so lucky to have lived through that time. He was one in a million and did more for this country than him or his family will ever know. #FindingJackCharlton
— Glen Loughran (@glenio1234) March 29, 2021
— John B (@JohnB53727617) March 29, 2021
Too tired to finish the Jack Charlton documentary last night so finished it this morning, not even 9am yet and I’m bawling my eyes out hahaha #FindingJackCharlton
— Courtney McGuire (@CourtneyGuire) March 29, 2021
#FindingJackCharlton I am so glad I watched this beautiful film - it celebrated Jack’s life, showed his dementia journey and told a wonderful story of Jackie’s army, and reminded us of an Ireland of resilience & hope. Well done all involved @aoifstokes
— Trina O'Connor (@TrinaOConnor74) March 29, 2021
Powerful documentary. What a guy! He left his mark on Ireland that can never be taken away. He and his family did more for us than they'll ever realise #JackCharlton#thankyoujack #JackiesArmy ☘️🇮🇪
— amy fitzpatrick (@amyfitzpatric14) March 29, 2021
Just a stunning film. #FindingJackCharlton
— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) March 28, 2021
What a beautiful, but heartbreaking documentary #FindingJackCharlton . We were privileged to grow up watching Jack & that team. 🇮🇪❤️
— Jacqui Hurley (@jacquihurley) March 28, 2021
— Ronan O'Brien (@RonanOBrien09) March 28, 2021
Virgin Media's dementia awareness week has raised a spectacular €620,000 for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland - and you can still donate €4 by texting "MEMORY" to 50300.
And, if you missed Finding Jack Charlton last night, it airs tonight at 9pm on BBC Two.