Hundreds lined the streets of Ashington, Northumberland to pay their respects to the England footballing legend Jackie Charlton, following his passing earlier this month.
Charlton was born in Ashington in May 1935, and along with younger brother Sir Bobby Charlton, helped England triumph over West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final.
Having played his entire club career at Leeds United, Charlton enjoyed stints as manager at both Newcastle United and the Republic of Ireland’s national team: his success with the latter has seen him dubbed “an honorary Irishman”.
Today saw Charlton’s funeral cortege make its way around his old hometown, including passing what is now the Hirst Welfare Centre, where Charlton and his brothers played football as children.
As the car and police escort drove through Alexandra Road and North Seaton Road, many gathered from across the North East to show their appreciation.
At around quarter to 11 this morning, Charlton’s hearse passed through the town centre, to a loud round of applause and cheers, as Ashington said its farewell to a true local hero.
For a small mining town in the North East of England, the legacy of footballers like Jackie, Bobby, and Sir Jackie Milburn give Ashington an almost unparalleled identity and footballing heritage.
For the people of Ashington, they’re more than just footballers and icons to look back upon: they’re arguably a symbol that Ashington is more than just the rough town with a mining heritage, it’s a town worthy of recognition, and somewhere so many are happy to call home.