Football

Tony Cascarino's Hilarious First Meeting With Jack Charlton Summed Up The Man

Tony Cascarino's Hilarious First Meeting With Jack Charlton Summed Up The Man

The news Jack Chartlon's passing early this morning has ensured an outpouring of emotion from the Irish football public, many of whom owe their love of the game to the former Ireland manager.

It was Charlton and his team of the late 80s and early 90s that really turned football into a mainstream sport in the country. It speaks volumes that Irish teams in the present day are still held to the standard that he set all those years ago.

The public loved him, and so did the players. The relationship he had with those in the squad sounded unlike anything else you would hear about in football.

One thing that could certainly be said about the ex-Leeds player was that he didn't take himself too seriously.

Speaking on Talksport this morning, Tony Cascarino recalled his first meeting with Charlton after he was appointed as Ireland manager. It was hardly how you would expect a manager to greet one of his new players.

I got to know Jack over a 10 or 12 year period.

The first time I got to meet him was at Leeds United when I was playing for Millwall and we went to Elland Road.

I’d been in the Ireland squad before for three games, but I had an injury when Jack took control.

I played at night at Elland Road and as I was walking to the away dressing room Jack yelled: ‘Oi!’

I looked up, and he said: ‘Do you want to come and play for Ireland again?’ I’ve said: ‘Yeah, please, I’d love to Jack.’

And he said: ‘Last time I watched you, you were absolute garbage!’

And that was it, that was my first meeting with a Jack!

While some were put off by the style of football Charlton employed while in charge of Ireland, the players loved it.

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Cascarino said that nobody ever pulled out of the squad because the manager 'made it fun going to join Republic of Ireland'.

He came to Ireland as a World Cup winner, someone with an immense pedigree in football from both his playing and management days.

Considering the lack of success Ireland had experienced up until that point, you might imagine that Charlton would have been quick to lord it over those in the dressing.

Cascarino said this certainly wasn't the case. In fact, he only once mentioned winning the World Cup. It came on the occasion Ireland faced England at Wembley in the early 90s, when he received a remarkable amount of abuse from a crowd that he had won football's biggest prize for only two decades previous.

One thing I would say, over of all the years I knew Jack, he never mentioned winning the World Cup once. He never talked about it.

The only time he showed any sign is when we played England at Wembley in the early 90s, where Jack got a lot of stick from the English public for marching the Ireland team round.

I was next to him while we were walking around, and he took a real umbrage to the way England fans were calling him a ‘traitor’ and all that.

He was upset, he was talking to me as we were walking to sit down, saying: ‘I won the World Cup!’

It was the only time he ever mentioned it.

SEE ALSO: The Two Minutes At Wembley That Defined "Put 'Em Under Pressure"

Gary Connaughton

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