Jack Charlton

My dad has an archive room where, much to the frustration of my mum, he hoards books, magazines, memorabilia of every description and from each phase of his life. – “you never know when it might come in useful!” Well last weekend it did.

For the past 54 years the summer of 1966 has never been far from the minds of football-mad youngsters of that heady period when English football ruled the world. That young boy of 7, now an armchair critic of advanced years, can still recall innumerable features of the 1966 World Cup tournament and so the passing of Jack Charlton, as we saw in the media, again prompted thoughts of a bygone era. However, what dad produced from his precious Archive Room above the garage was different. He had kept a coaching booklet “Jack Charlton’s Book for Young Footballers” produced in 1978 to sit alongside an ITV series. I have read many coaching texts but this philosophy appeared so simplistic throughout but pure common sense exemplified by one photograph headed “Two boys, a ball & a wall- there is no limit to the variety of shots, passes and chips the boys can produce for each other.”  

Today we are obsessed with massive investment in infrastructure and resources and one wonders if Jack Charlton’s ability to enthuse, make training fun and uncomplicated whilst standing no nonsense even with elite players, is not outmoded at all. 

Two boys, a ball and a wall – there is no limit to the variety of shots, passes and chips the boys can produce for each other.

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