A portrait of one of the world’s most famous footballers, Finding Jack Charlton is essential viewing for football fans, and is getting its TV premiere on BBC Two tonight (29th March).
Briefly released in cinemas at the end of 2020, the feature-length documentary includes footage of Jack on the pitch as part of the World Cup-winning England team in 1966, and later as the manager of the Republic of Ireland side that reached the World Cup quarter finals in 1990, a success that made Jack an Irish hero.
As well as interviews with Jack and his family, the film also includes contributions from Irish celebrities including U2’s Larry Mullen Jr, author Roddy Doyle, Mrs Brown’s Boys’ star Brendan O’Carroll, and former footballers turned managers David O’Leary and Mick McCarthy.
When is Finding Jack Charlton on?
The documentary will air on BBC Two on Monday, 29th March at 9pm.
It will then be repeated on BBC Two on Wednesday, 7th April at 11:30pm.
The film will also be made available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
Who is Jack Charlton?
Born in Northumberland in 1935, John ‘Jack’ Charlton was an English footballer who began his professional career playing for Leeds United in 1952.
In 1965, he joined his younger brother Bobby on the England national side and on 30th July, 1966, the team – which also included captain Bobby Moore, and other legendary players like Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst and Gordon Banks – won the World Cup final, beating West Germany 4-2 at Wembley Stadium.
After retiring as a player, Jack worked as a manager in the 1970s and early eighties for Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United before taking on the job of manager of the Republic of Ireland national team in 1986.
Awarded an OBE in 1974 and given honorary Irish citizenship in 1996, he retired from football management in 1996. Diagnosed with lymphoma in 2019 and suffering from dementia in his later years, Jack Charlton died, aged 85, on 10th July, 2020.
What is Finding Jack Charlton about?
Directed by Gabriel Clarke and Pete Thomas, Finding Jack Charlton is a feature length documentary about the life and later years of the footballer-turned-manager affectionately known as ‘Big Jack’.
As well as featuring familiar footage of Jack on and off the pitch during his illustrious career, the filmmakers uncovered previously unseen behind the scenes clips of him with the Ireland team during the 1990 World Cup, and on the road to their qualification for the 1994 tournament in the USA.
Jack’s family – which includes his widow, Pat and son, John – also gave the documentary makers intimate access to Jack during his last years as he battled dementia, and revealed the hand-written notes that he kept safe throughout his career that detail his philosophies and tactics as a manager (“be a dictator, but be a nice one”).
Is there a trailer for Finding Jack Charlton?
You can view the official trailer for the Finding Jack Charlton movie below.