Tributes pour in for England World Cup winner and Republic of Ireland manager Jack Charlton

Tributes have poured in for football legend Jack Charlton, who has died at the age of 85. Credit: PA

Tributes have poured in for 1966 World Cup winning hero Jack Charlton, who passed away aged 85.

Former players, politicians and celebrities have paid homage to the former Leeds United centre-back, who has been described as a "true giant of English football".

Flowers, scarves and football shirts had been laid around Charlton’s personalised floor tile outside Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium.

Jack Charlton holds the Jules Rimet trophy aloft as he parades it around Wembley Credit: PA

Jack's granddaughter and ITV News reporter Emma Wilkinson paid tribute to him, saying: "Beyond sad to have to say goodbye to my beloved Grandad, Jack Charlton. He enriched so many lives through football, friendship and family. He was a kind, funny and thoroughly genuine man and our family will miss him enormously."

Players who worked under and had played alongside Charlton also paid homage to ‘Big Jack’.

Sir Geoff Hurst, the hat-trick hero of the 1966 final, paid tribute on Twitter to his former England team-mate.

He said: “Another sad day for football. Jack was the type of player and person that you need in a team to win a World Cup.

“He was a great and lovable character and he will be greatly missed. The world of football and the world beyond football has lost one of the greats. RIP old friend.”

Former Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton, who was handed his Republic debut in Jack Charlton’s first match in charge of the side in 1986, told talkSPORT: “He was a larger than life character.

“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 over the line.

Former Ireland captain Paul McGrath tweeted: “Absolutely gutted. Father figure to me for 10 years, thanks for having faith in me. Sleep well Jack, Love ya Thinking of Pat, John and Peter at this sad time. #thanksforthememories”

Jason McAteer, who also played under Charlton for Ireland, tweeted: “Can’t speak…… hearts just broke. love you Jack.”

Football Association chairman Greg Clarke expressed his sadness at Saturday’s news.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jack Charlton and my thoughts are with his wife Pat, his family and friends,” he said.

“A true giant of English football, Jack will forever be remembered for his significant contribution to our World Cup win in 1966 and for being a warm-hearted, thoughtful man."

His former club Leeds, where he spent his entire 21-year playing career, were among the first to pay their respects, saying they were “deeply saddened to learn club legend Jack Charlton passed away last night at the age of 85”.

They also posted a video in honour of the defender on their Twitter page with the message: “Rest in peace Jack”.

Leeds United Supporters’ Trust tweeted: “Another massively sad day for the

fans and club as we lose another legend. RIP Big Jack. If there was ever a more prominent year for us to go up it’s now, let’s do it for Jack, Norman and Trevor.”

A spokesman for Middlesbrough, where Jack started his managerial career in 1973, said: “Middlesbrough FC are saddened to hear the news. Jack was a true gentleman and was liked by everyone who met him.

“He had a great playing career and was a very successful manager, particularly at Middlesbrough, where he guided us to promotion in 1974.

“Our thoughts are with Jack’s family and friends. He was a great football man and he will be sorely missed.”

Charlton, who guided Ireland to two World Cups, was also praised by the country’s Football Association.

They said: “The FAI is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jack Charlton, the manager who changed Irish football forever.

“Our thoughts are with Pat and the family at this sad time.”

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

The English Football League tweeted: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of @LUFC and @England legend Jack Charlton at the age of 85.

“Charlton made a club-record 773 appearances for Leeds United as a player and was a World Cup winner with his country. We will never forget him.”

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker tweeted: "Saddened to hear that Jack Charlton has passed away. World Cup winner with England, manager of probably the best ever Ireland side and a wonderfully infectious personality to boot. RIP Jack."