Jack Charlton’s son says legendary Irish manager ‘even got lucky’ when he died
Jack Charlton’s son believes the legendary manager was ‘lucky’ in that he died before his dementia got worse.
Big Jack lived with dementia in the last years of his life, but his son John says the World Cup winner could still look after himself and didn’t need care.
Aged 85, Charlton died in 2020 after a battle with lymphoma.
John was in Dublin on Friday night to attend FAI’s centenary celebrations on RTE’s Late Late Show and spoke about his father’s dementia and death.
He told Ryan Tubridy: “His dementia wasn’t as bad as other people who’ve had it. Maybe it was because the blood cancer, the lymphoma, that he had was what finally killed him. It had nothing to do with dementia, although he had it.
“At 85 – how old do you live? So dementia for him wasn’t that bad in that if I walked in with my kids he knew who they all were. It’s not like if he needs help.
“He could get up and go and have a cup of tea. He could do whatever he normally could, it’s just that his memory was going faster than it should have.
“I’ve always said that in his life he had a life that was amazing from start to finish and even when he died he still got away with it for the simple reason that blood cancer killed him. .
“He’s never been so bad with dementia, so it didn’t put pressure on my mum and he didn’t have to worry about it. He died before it got that bad, so in dying, he is even very lucky.”
Paul McGrath was also a guest on the Friday show and handed John a book of condolences which was signed by the people of Ireland following Jack’s death during lockdown.
Reacting to the handover of the book, John said: “I think the only thing to say is that he was happy when people were happy, and that’s really how he lived his life.
“If he could make them as happy as possible, then he was happy.”
McGrath also paid tribute to his former manager, saying: “He knew I was a little different because I would end up on a train I wasn’t supposed to be on – or it could have been a plane – and he said. always forgave me, I always wanted me back in the team.
“I always wanted to play because we had a great relationship with each other. John and Peter (Jack Charlton’s sons) came with us to be part of the team.
“I loved it because, for me, it was the best ten years of my life.”
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