Ireland’s legendary manager Jack Charlton will have his very own Jack Charlton Day on Friday 8th of May as the association and its supporters celebrate the man who guided Ireland to a World cup Quarter Final in 1990.
Charlton will turn 85 on Friday and throughout the day there will be plenty of content across FAI’s media platforms.
34 years after Big Jack’s appointment to the job, his greatest results, past players reaction and a #HappyBirthdayJack social media call will be amongst the initiatives that will help supporters to celebrate the historic managers time in charge.
Ray Houghton played for Charlton during three major tournaments and has plenty of fond memories to recall as he spoke with FAI TV.
Houghton may be most fondly remembered for the many vital goals he scored for the Boys in Green with one particular one against Italy in the Giants stadium in 1994 standing out in the midfielders mind. "I remember thinking to myself, 'just hit it, why not? If it goes over the bar, who cares? If it goes wide of the goal, it's not a problem?'.
"As I hit it my first emotion was 'it's going over'. The second emotion was 'the keeper is going to save it', then when it hit the back of the net I was off and running."
Another fantastic player of the Charlton era was Paul McGrath, and Houghton recalls fondly McGrath’s strong presence during that historic victory. "Paul McGrath had one of his best games ever in an Ireland shirt and Paul shouldn't have played. He had a problem with his shoulder and I would say 99.9 per cent of people wouldn't have played but Paul was one of the very few who went out there and played with it.
"He was magnificent. Even Franco Baresi, one of the best centre-backs ever, turned around and said that was one the best centre-back performances he'd ever seen. When you get someone like that say how well you've played you know you've done well."
The full interview with FAI TV can be viewed here.