Ode to Jack Charlton.

Ode to Jack Charlton 


Let’s hear it for Jack the lad

The best manager we ever had

He was blunt and opinionated that was for sure

But at least our footballers knew how to score

He was the boss, he suffered no fools

To earn your place, you played by his rules

No time for pretty football or fancy Dans

Which angered some of the purists and football fans


Put ‘em under pressure, was the order of the day

Long ball to the corner was the way to play

Turn their fullbacks and get them to defend

Closing down the opposition at their own end

Keep chasing those long balls, no time to rest

Poor Johnnie Aldridge ran his legs off, but always did his best

No wonder he didn’t score for years

And when he finally did, sure we couldn’t stop the tears


First there was Stuttgart  where we met our old foe

Our luck was with us that day, as they really had a go

Linneker was off form and couldn’t hit a barn door

He could still be there today and wouldn’t be able to score

Bonner was our hero who stood in their way

But they were all heroes in green that day

Do you remember when Houghton put the ball in the English net

Our greatest moment in our footballing history yet


Then there was Italia 90 and off to meet the pope

According to the media, we didn’t have a hope

They put us out in Sicily with the English and Egyptians

And the boys from Holland, we nearly had conniptions

But three draws got us through to the last sixteen

The furthest an Irish team had ever been

Jack’s Army were on the march and we were all so proud

The boys in green sang louder than the opposition’s crowd


But the football experts, took a very different view

Giles and grumpy Dunphy to name just two

It was all too much, Big Jack had to go

Dunphy declared and flew into a rage in the studio

Foaming at the mouth, throwing away his pen

He would never watch Jack Charlton’s team, ever again  

Romania were the next in line to beat

Would it be another great win or a bitter defeat 

Penalties were to decide the day

Only their keeper stood in our way

As the nation held its breath

It was almost time for sudden death

Up steps O’Leary – I’m taking that

Poor Jack nearly had a stroke and threw away his hat

Dunphy was delirious and even Giles cracked a smile

Though he still didn’t like Charlton’s style


So on to meet the mighty Italians in the city of Rome

Could we really beat them or be on the next plane home

For a semi final place, we were in with a shout

And though we played well our luck ran out

Toto Schillaci broke our hearts with the only goal

They had given their best, played with heart and soul

But we got our revenge in 94

When Houghton got the only score ! 


Two World cup finals and a Euro too

What a time to be Irish, Jack we thank you

For the excitement, the drama and the tears

To have lived and been there in the Golden years

Thanks for the memories we will never forget

For the confidence you gave us and the standards you set

An honorary Irishman you deserved to be

Now Rest in Peace for eternity.


C Denis Murphy 12 July 2020.

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