Football

The Crazy Effect Jack Charlton Had At Middlesbrough In First Managerial Job

The Crazy Effect Jack Charlton Had At Middlesbrough In First Managerial Job

In this part of the world, Jack Charlton is most fondly remembered for his decade as Ireland manager. If you were to ask somebody in England, the first thing that would spring to mind about him would be his role in the 1966 World Cup winning team.

What often gets lost in between those two periods is his other managerial stints.

Charlton managed three club teams in England, taking in spells at Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday, and Newcastle United. It was during his spell at Boro that he really made his name as a manger.

The former defender had only retired a matter of weeks before he was offered the club's managerial position, who were then in the old Second Division. They had been in that division for 19 consecutive seasons.

He had a few stipulations he wanted to set out before accepting the role.

Firstly, he would not sign a contract. That was something he would repeat throughout his career. Charlton also accepted an annual salary of £10,000 a much lower amount than he probably could have commanded.

In return for the reduced rate, he did ask for some concessions. He asked for a gentleman's agreement that he would not be sacked, while also wanted assurances that the board would not interfere in the football side of running the club.

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In typical Charlton fashion, he also wanted three days off every week so he could go fishing and shooting.

His impact was immediate. In his first season in charge, Middlesbrough would finish top of the league with a 15-point margin, and that this was during the period when only two points were awarded for a win.

As a result, Charlton became the first manager from outside the top flight to be named England's manager of the year.

He also made an immediate change to the club's kit. Taking his lead from Don Revie, who had changed Leeds' kit from blue and yellow to all-white, Jack added a white strip to Middlesbrough's previously all red jersey.

Speaking to The Gazette a few years back, he explained why:

Leeds played in all-white but I didn’t intend for Boro to follow that.

We brought in the white band to help the players identify each other better on the pitch.

That had been a big thing with Don Revie when he went to Leeds. He didn’t want the players to blend into the background.

It helps the players if they can look up and instantly see a team-mate.

He left Middlesbrough in 1978 having established the club in the First Division. The the white stripe he introduced is still used to the present day.

SEE ALSO: How Jack Charlton Gave Football Fans A Boast When They Needed It Most

Gary Connaughton

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