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John Aldridge Feels That A Jack Charlton Statue At The Aviva Is 'Long Overdue'

John Aldridge Feels That A Jack Charlton Statue At The Aviva Is 'Long Overdue'
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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Whatever Republic of Ireland teams do in the current era, they will always be compared to great sides of the past.

Irish football hit heights in the late 80s and early 90s that have yet to be replicated, starting with Euro 88 and running up the World in the USA in 1994.

It was during this period that the country fell in love with football. With Jack Charlton at the helm and a squad full of top quality players, their run at Italia 90 in particular captured the hearts of the nation.

It will take quite some time before we see The Boys in Green reach such heights again.

Of course, those associated with those teams have now become legendary figures in Irish sport. That is particularly true of the manager.

Jack Charlton is one of the most beloved sporting heroes this island has ever seen, despite the fact that he actually came from across the Irish Sea. His passing back in 2020 brought back a flood of memories of the moments he had provided us with, the legacy of which will likely never be forgotten.

The impact he had on his players was just as profound.

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Speaking at an event to mark the 30th anniversary of Liverpool FC's partnership with Carlsberg, John Aldridge summed up the impact that his old manager had on him during their time together.

I won 69 caps in ten years. They were probably the best ten years of my life, representing Ireland. Absolutely.I'm a Liverpool fan and always wanted to play for Liverpool, live the dream. That was amazing, but over the ten years with Ireland, words fail me.

Jack was great, wasn't he? He was my favourite manager by a mile, by a mile.

I still miss him now. I still dream of him. He had that much of an impact on all of us, I just love him.

I get emotional when I think or talk about him. That's the stamp he put on me and a lot of our players...

You never got Jack (when you rang), he was always out fishing! He never answered his phone. He was a great and had a great wife, she's a lovely lady. Jack had a massive effect on me.

In recent times, many have been calling for the authorities in Ireland to commemorate Jack Charlton's contribution to Irish society with a statue dedicated to him somewhere in Dublin, perhaps at the Aviva Stadium.

Cork Airport has one, while another was unveiled in the former World Cup winner's hometown of Ashington, Northumberland.

Aldridge feels that something similar is long over due in Dublin and would be a fitting tribute to a man that meant so much to the city and the country.

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It would be lovely, wouldn't it? I think it should have been done a long time ago.

I was down in Cork Airport not long ago and they have a lovely statue that's been there for years of him fishing. Cork have done it out of respect, which is brilliant from the Cork people.

Why hasn't it been done in Dublin, especially at the Aviva? He's revered, he done more for Ireland politics wise than anyone else. Football wise, he took us to where we were never anywhere near.

Of course it should be done, it should have been done years ago when he was alive. Unfortunately he's not, but I'd be absolutely all over it.

I'm sure there's somebody out there with the money, whatever it costs. If the FAI can't do it, then someone should do it and do it quick. If you ask everyone in Ireland, they will agree.

If it's not on the Liffey fishing, why not the Aviva?

You won't get too many arguments with that from the Irish public.

It would be brilliant to see 'Big Jack' be given a permanent residence on Lansdowne Road.

*****

Pictured is Liverpool FC Legend John Aldridge, who this week visited Belfast and Dublin in celebration of Carlsberg’s 30th year in partnership with the club, alongside former Liverpool FC frontman Robbie Fowler.

Passionate supporters of the Reds since 1992, Carlsberg teamed up with Aldo and Fowler to surprise a group of unsuspecting fans at a Liverpool FC supporters’ five a side match. To find out how they got on, follow Carlsberg Ireland on Instagram.

SEE ALSO: What If? Reimagining Ireland's World Cup History

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