Before his legendary exploits at Old Trafford and Wembley, Sir Bobby Charlton learned to kick a ball in Ashington.
The former coal mining town in Northumberland remains proud that two of their own, Sir Bobby and his older brother Jack, went on to be part of England’s fabled 1966 World Cup-winning side.
Their journey to lifting the Jules Rimet trophy together began behind their house in Beatrice Street, where they’d play football for hours. More than 50 years on, you can still see the black marks on the brick wall they used as a goal.
Ray Young now lives at their former home and says he can remember how he felt watching the brothers in the final.
“I was quite proud,” he said. “To see somebody from Ashington winning something, because they’ve not won it again.”
Ray fondly recalls how Jack would make regular visits to the house and the fact he was seen more in the community. He died in Ashington in 2020, and his funeral was held there, but Sir Bobby, who will be buried in Manchester on Monday, also has indelible ties to the town.
After the Munich Air Disaster in 1958, which killed a number of his teammates and left him badly injured, he recovered in Ashington.
During that time, he was pictured at home with his mother Cissie as well as playing football on the street with local youngsters.
Speaking to people in the town centre, a short walk away from a statue of his uncle Jackie Milburn, who went on to become Newcastle United’s record goalscorer, you could sense their pride that Sir Bobby crowned a dynasty of outstanding players.
“Make no mistake about it, I might be biased because I’m an Ashington lad, but he’s the best footballer I’ve ever seen,” said one man.
Another woman Sky News spoke to called Ashington “the centre of football”, and added: “We’ve had so many that have come from here and I’m just hoping…
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This notice was published: 2023-11-10 10:57:00
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