Football

Ray Houghton: 'Disgrace' That Jack Charlton Wasn't Knighted

Ray Houghton: 'Disgrace' That Jack Charlton Wasn't Knighted

Ray Houghton believes it is a "disgrace" that Jack Charlton was never knighted for his services to English football.

Charlton died on Friday night aged 85 following a long-term illness.

He played 773 games for Leeds United and won a World Cup with England in 1966. His brother Bobby, a Manchester United legend and also a 1966 winner, was knighted in 1994. Jack Charlton was awarded an OBE in 1974 but never a knighthood.

"He was a larger than life character," former Ireland international Houghton told Talksport.

"The word legend is used too much in football but not for Jack, for what he’s done domestically with Leeds, winning the World Cup, which he should have been knighted for, I’ve still never understood that, I think that’s an absolute disgrace and the fact that he did so well with Ireland.

"He changed everything about Irish football because there was a stage where we hadn’t qualified for tournaments, we had some great players and very good managers but didn’t quite get over the line.

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"Jack came in and changed that mentality, got us through two World Cups and one European Championship. His legacy within Ireland is absolutely huge."

Four years ago, Colin Young - who wrote a biography of Charlton - told Balls.ie that the former Ireland manager's politics, such as supporting the miners' strike, may have cost him a knighthood.

Picture credits: Sportsfile

In Photos: Jack Charlton's Ireland Years

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