Finding Jack Charlton: Football legend’s bravery shines through in this profound film

·1-min read
<p>The film lays bare Charlton’s commitment to doing the right thing</p> (Handout)

The film lays bare Charlton’s commitment to doing the right thing

(Handout)

The English football legend, who died this summer, never did get a knighthood. And after watching this breezily profound documentary, you’ll understand why.

Charlton backed the miners in the 80s, and managed Ireland at a time when they were seen as a joke. He sided with the underdog, with the full support of his wife, Pat, and their three children, and the Charltons’ commitment to doing the brave thing, as opposed to the easy thing, is laid bare in the film.

Pat and her eldest son, John, allowed directors Gabriel Clarke and Pete Thomas to shoot in the family home for eighteen months, even though, by this point, Jack was suffering from dementia. His loved ones weren’t ashamed of his condition. To be down, here, is not to be out.

The interviewees (including Paul McGrath, Packie Bonner and U2’s Larry Mullen Jr, all incredibly eloquent) count the ways in which he was marvellous, even as they acknowledge his flaws.

<p>The football legend sided with the underdog</p>Film handout

The football legend sided with the underdog

Film handout

Seeing the clearly confused Charlton, in his home or on carefully monitored jaunts, can be upsetting. He looks stupefied and childlike. It’s also hinted that preying on his mind is his estrangement from his brother, Bobby. The expectation is raised that the siblings may mend bridges before our very eyes. Let’s just say those looking for a fairy-tale ending won’t find it, but what we do get feels like a pot of gold.

On digital download from 23 November. 90 mins, 15

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting