Jack Charlton's family have thanked the Irish supporters for their kind messages and support in the aftermath of his sad death.
The Charlton family have been inundated with flowers, letters and cards since the World Cup winner passed away at the age of 85.
Over 20,000 people signed the FAI's virtual Book of Condolences and speaking with the FAI, Charlton's wife, Pat, has offered her thanks during this difficult time.
“I am so grateful to everyone in Ireland who has taken time out to send us their condolences, it means so much to me and to the family to know that Jack meant so much to everyone in Ireland and I would like to share this message with the Irish people. Jack loved his time with the Irish team and it is clear from all the cards, letters and flowers that have arrived at our house just how much the people of Ireland loved him as well.
"I cannot tell you how much that means to me and to John, Deborah and Peter and all the family as we try to come to terms with Jack’s passing. Every day we have received more messages, more cards and more flowers from Ireland, from England and all across the world. It has given me great comfort to see all those letters arrive from Ireland and to see the reaction to his death right across the country. To know he was so loved in Ireland means such a lot to us all, it really does.”
Charlton's eldest son John also thanked the Irish supporters for their kindness during this difficult time. He also said that the family will "get over to Ireland when the time is right" for an Irish send-off.
“We are still coming to terms with my dad’s passing but all the support we have received, here in England and from Ireland, has made such a difference for the family. I know thousands of people would have travelled from Ireland to say goodbye to my dad at the funeral but for COVID-19 and I know they marked the day right across Ireland which we are so grateful for.
“The organisers of the event in Ashington on the morning of the funeral have told us there were 15,000 people out on the streets to say their goodbyes. I can only imagine what the funeral would have been like if it wasn’t subject to those COVID restrictions," he said.
On the subject of an Irish send-off for the beloved manager, John Charlton was optimistic that it will happen, once travel restrictions are eased.
“We saw the Irish tricolours in Ashington and I know from reading the letters and the cards we have received from Ireland, that many fans would have travelled over for the funeral if they could have. I want to thank them all on behalf of the family. Some of those who have written to us had met my dad over the years, others are just fans who wanted to say thank you and to sympathise with us all. It means so much to us.
“We will get over to Ireland when the time is right and with the help of the FAI, we will have an Irish send-off for my dad. We all look forward to that but in the meantime, we want to thank you all for everything over the last fortnight. Your support has been really special for us all," he said.