Charity football match held in memory of Northumberland footballing legend Jack Charlton

A charity football match to celebrate the life of legendary Northumberland football Jack Charlton has been held in Ashington.

By Brian Bennett
Monday, 11th July 2022, 1:35 pm

The match - between EnglandFans FC and You Boys in Green (YBIG) from the Republic of Ireland – took place at the town’s Woodhorn Lane ground.

Both national anthems and a minute’s silence was held before kick off, and EnglandFansFC were a goal ahead by half time.

But YBIG hit back in the second half with two goals and ultimately lifted the winners’ trophy, presented by Jack's widow Pat.

Aidan Brett (YBIG team manager), Liam Murray (founder of YBIG and captain), Pat Charlton and Carina O'Brien (Vice-Consul General of Ireland for the North East of England representing the government of Ireland). Picture: Gav Perry

Aidan Brett, manager of YBIG, said afterwards: “I was delighted with the win but to be honest, it was more important to have two groups of fans enjoying a lovely game of football with great character and friendship.

“Pat Charlton is such a lovely lady and it was fantastic to celebrate the life of such a great man as Jack who we’ve so much respect for. Certainly he’d have loved it today.”

Englandfans FC boss Garford Beck – whose squad came from various parts of the country – was hoping for a change in fortunes after his side lost three previous games against YBIG, but it wasn’t to be.

He said: “For a fans’ match, it was very competitive and the standard was good.

"They (YBIG) are a much younger team than ours and it told in the end as they looked the sharper and deserved to win.”

Liam Murray – who founded YBIG in 2005 said: “It’s good to be over here in Jack’s home town of Ashington. It was pretty special to meet Pat and their son and it was great to be taken to see the house in Beatrice Street, where Jack used to live.”

Carina O’Brien – the Vice-Consul General of Ireland for the North of England, representing the government of Ireland, said: “Seeing the pictures of Jack on the walls inside Ashington FC resonated so much as an Irish person. It took me back to a very special time in my life as a person who followed and grew up in the Charlton era of football, and it was quite emotional.”

Proceeds from the match were shared between the Jack Charlton Disabled Anglers’ Association and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.