Jack Charlton was a great football man, a great supporter of our work and a great friend to Sir Bobby. We were so sad to hear about his death from cancer.

Jack and Lady Elsie drinking Northumberland Tea

Jack’s wife, Pat, and all his family and loved ones are in our thoughts today. And we know how many football fans will be greatly saddened by this news.

Despite his own health issues, Jack gave our Foundation unstinting support over the years. He regularly attended charity events and met with fundraisers, even celebrating his 80th birthday with us, and never failed to make everyone laugh.

Rivals as players in the 1950s and 1960s, and again as national managers during Italia 90 – Jack with Republic of Ireland and Sir Bobby with England – Jack was of Sir Bobby’s generation and came from a similar North East mining background.

In typical fashion, asked why he was helping support our Foundation, Jack replied in his broad Ashington accent: “Because Bob was always a good lad.”

He was ‘the face’ of Northumberland Tea, which is marketed as ‘The best cup since 1966!’, a reference, of course, to Jack’s World Cup win with England that year.

A percentage of the tea’s profits are donated to our charity and Jack took an active part in its delivery, often accompanying his close friends Helen and Bill Logan, the couple behind Northumberland Tea, as they dropped off at shops across the North East.

Lady Elsie says: “Jack was a great friend and a wonderful supporter of our cancer charity. He’d come out to events and meet with fundraisers, and people were always so thrilled to meet a World Cup winner.

“He had such a way about him. He’d just make us all smile. I feel for Pat and the family after their great loss and they have our heartfelt sympathy.”

We’re very grateful for all the help Jack gave the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation – and for all the wonderful memories he has given us. We will miss him.