World Cup winner Jack Charlton honoured in a new statue unveiled in Ashington, Northumberland

The unveiling at Hirst Park in Ashington.
Family and friends attended the ceremony in Ashington, Northumberland. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A statue has been unveiled in memory of footballing legend Jack Charlton in his home town of Ashington, Northumberland.

The ceremony was attended by hundreds of people, including family and friends.

It stands in the town's Hirst Park where the defender played football as a boy, not far from the family home where he grew up.

Charlton died in July 2020, aged 85.

Pat Charlton, his wife, told ITV Tyne Tees: "He would be proud and he would be surprised that people thought so much of him.

"He always loved coming back here. He'd walk along the street and it would be 'hi Jack.' And he would always stop. Up to him being poorly he would always come back here. I think it was a two-way thing. He liked them and they liked him."

A proud day for Ashington. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Jack's brother Tom was among the family present. He said: "Jack was an emotional guy. He came across as a hard-man. But when you got to know Jack he was emotional and he would have shed a tear here today to think that the people of Ashington thought so much of him."

Jack was born into a footballing family in the town in 1935, the older brother of Sir Bobby Charlton.

He would go on to be part of England's 1966 World cup winning side, as well as enjoying a lengthy club career at Leeds United. He also managed sides including Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and The Republic of Ireland.

Local councillor Liam Lavery was among those instrumental in bringing the statue to the town. He said: "He was an absolute legend. Not just in Ashington but in Ireland, across the country, worldwide, he's renowned for being an absolute legend.

"So it is great to have the statue here. It's been hard work but finally it's here and it's definitely been worth the wait."