Charlton finished his career as one of the all-time great defenders, making a record 773 appearances for Leeds and scoring 96 goals. He played 35 times for England, netting six goals.

File Photo:  Jack Charlton arrives for the funeral of former England World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks in Stoke-upon-Trent, Britain on March 4, 2019.
File Photo: Jack Charlton arrives for the funeral of former England World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks in Stoke-upon-Trent, Britain on March 4, 2019. (Reuters)

Jack Charlton, a football World Cup winner with England who became the darling of Ireland after leading their national team to unprecedented success as manager, has died aged 85.

A family statement said that the former Leeds United defender, who helped England beat West Germany to become world champions in 1966, died peacefully on Friday at his home in Northumberland, northern England following a long-term illness.

"We cannot express how proud we are of the extraordinary life he led and the pleasure he brought to so many people in different countries and from all walks of life," it read.

Charlton led Ireland to their first major football finals at the 1988 European Championship and also guided them to the World Cup quarter-finals in 1990.

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin was among the first to tweet his reaction.

"So saddened to hear of the passing of Jack Charlton who brought such honesty and joy to the football world" he said.

"He personified a golden era in Irish football, the Italia 90 campaign being one of pure joy for the nation. He gave us magical memories. Thank you Jack."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute with a tweet: "Jack Charlton was a football great whose achievements brought happiness to many".

Football world in mourning

"The FAI (Football Association of Ireland) is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jack Charlton, the manager who changed Irish football forever," the FAI said on Twitter.

English football's governing body the Football Association (FA) said they were "devastated" by the news.

Leeds issued their own tribute to 'Big Jack' whose uncompromising style as a defender epitomised the rugged side to the Revie era.

"Leeds United are deeply saddened to learn club legend Jack Charlton passed away last night at the age of 85 following a long-term illness," read a Leeds statement.

His grand daughter Kate Wilkinson gave an insight into the private side of the outwardly gruff man who is the sixth member of England's 1966 winning side to die.

"Charlton made a club record 773 appearances for Leeds United over a 23-year period as a player, becoming one of the all-time great central defenders in the game."
"Yesterday was a very sad day. My grandad, Jack Charlton, died peacefully at home.
"He was kind, playful and genuine, and I'll miss him so much."

File photo: England's Jack Charlton, right, holds the Jules Rimet trophy aloft as he parades it around Wembley with teammate Bobby Moore following their 4-2 win over West Germany on July 30, 1966.
File photo: England's Jack Charlton, right, holds the Jules Rimet trophy aloft as he parades it around Wembley with teammate Bobby Moore following their 4-2 win over West Germany on July 30, 1966. (AP)

35-times capped

Charlton, the elder brother of Manchester United great Bobby, was a tough tackling centre back who graduated from the Leeds academy and spent his entire playing career at the club.

He helped the Yorkshire side win the second division in 1963-64 and then the top-flight title in 1968-69.

Charlton finished his career as one of the all-time great defenders, making a record 773 appearances for Leeds and scoring 96 goals. He played 35 times for England, netting six goals.

His finest moment in the national team colours came in 1966, as he helped Alf Ramsey's England side lift the World Cup on home soil, playing every match at the tournament.

As a manager he guided Middlesbrough to the second division title in 1973–74 and the Anglo-Scottish Cup in 1975–76 before spells with Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United.

Charlton is the sixth member of England's World Cup final team to have died after captain Bobby Moore, Martin Peters, Gordon Banks, Alan Ball and Ray Wilson.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies