Fintan O’Toole: Jack Charlton allowed us to accept the English part of our Irishness

But Charlton was not playing these games of identity. He was bluntly, gruffly, cloth-capped English. There was – whatever the sentimental reminiscences might say – no whiff of the “adopted son” about him, no “more Irish than the Irish” guff. He had the tough centre-half’s absolute assurance about himself, and that very much included the utter certainty about who he was and where he came from.

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