Mick McCarthy has recalled a fantastic story which shows how Jack Charlton never failed to win people over.
Ahead of the broadcast of Jackie’s Army, a number of Jack Charlton’s former players have been paying tribute to the legendary ex-Republic of Ireland manager.
Mick McCarthy was one of Charlton’s most trusted players and captained Ireland for some of the national team’s most iconic matches.
In an interview with Virgin Media Sport, McCarthy gave his opinion on why Charlton proved to be such a popular character in Ireland.
McCarthy told a great story about how Charlton, who passed away last summer, once silenced a rowdy Belfast crowd by simply asking for a lighter.
“What made him special, certainly in Ireland, was that he was a success and he qualified for competitions,” McCarthy said. “What made him qualify for competitions was his personality I think, his knowledge of the game, and the fact that everybody loved him.
"They were giving him YARS! They were giving him dog's abuse."
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 28, 2021
“As I said, all the players that played for him did, I certainly did and other players have said so.
“The story that I always remember was when we were playing in Belfast and the fans behind the dugout were giving him dog’s abuse, giving him yars.
“He took a cigarette out, put it in his mouth, leaned up on the fence and asked somebody if they had a light. There was about 30 or 40 blokes who couldn’t wait to get their hands in their pockets to give him a light, and they all stopped giving him abuse.
“He just lit it up, said ‘cheers’ and turned around. You just had to like him, he was a brilliant fella.”
Charlton was in charge of the Republic of Ireland side for a decade and led the national team to a first World Cup in 1990, when the boys in green reached the quarter-finals in Italy.