on 25 July 2001
This is a forthright and honest account of a top football man.
His childhood was simple yet character building and is told here with feeling. Jack Charlton seems such an honest man when seen on TV and this book backs up that statement. He tells it as it is and really there is no middle ground with the man. His story is told in a modest way - he really never realised his football talent - and very nearly ended up following his father into mining. When the chance to go to Leeds came a second time he grabbed it with both hands, and the rest as they say is history.
Often a difficult man the story explains how Don Revie helped to focus his mind during his first few years at Leeds. I found this book extremely readable and interesting and one of the better footballing autobiographys available. You can't help thinking what a talented and 100% football man Big Jack is. His record speaks for its self.
Leeds United, England, Eire and his family - its all here and to be honest could be a much longer book - Excellent and great read.
on 27 October 1999
Jack Charlton's story is easily the best of its type I have read. His character comes right through to the reader from the text. His story is entertaining, and it is clear that he has led an extraordinary life, from humble beginnings (which he makes sound idyllic) to the World Cup as a player then manager.
Jack doesn't use football cliches, and doesn't hold back in his views, particularly on his brother Bobby.
Having read this book, it is easy to understand how Jack turned groups of limited players into successful teams, culminating in the Republic of Ireland's emergence as a force in world football.
How industry could do with characters like Jack to cut through the meaningless language of 'corporate strategy.'
An excellent read.
on 3 June 2001
Jack gives an honest insight into his remarkable footballing life. Although more time could be spent charting the 10 year reign as International manager for Ireland (perhaps that is a book in itself), he goes to great depth in detailing the ups and downs along his footballing path, with some witty anecdotes along the way...How football misses the style and charm of the big fella. Great read.
on 2 August 2005
Big Jack, Leeds and England legend. 629 league appearances for Leeds, a record unlikely to be broken as the days of one club players have gone. From poverty in a famous football family to becoming world famous, Jack tells a fascinating story, particularly in relation to his younger brother, Bobby. Bobby had the natural talent. Jack was the grafter. How they grew up and drifted apart is a fascinating read. Also the memories of the great managers, Revie and Ramsey.
What I was surprised to learn was Jack's assessment of the hard men, Hunter, Tommy Smith et al as clean players and the likes of Giles as dirty.
Fascinating to read about the technique Jack pioneered of getting in the way of the goalie at corners.
A man's man. A blunt Geordie. Great footballer.