Leeds United hero’s ‘Wembley’ saved

Jack Charlton played for the Whites for more than 20 years.
Jack Charlton played for the Whites for more than 20 years.
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The park where former Leeds United legend Jack Charlton learned to play football is to be handed a £2.3m boost to its facilities.

Hirst Park, in Ashington, Northumberland, is one of 12 parks and cemeteries across the country receiving a share of £32m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund.

Charlton, who played on the park alongside his brother Sir Bobby, welcomed the news Hirst Park would get funding.

The cash would be used to restore the underused football pitches and establish an annual Charlton and Milburn Cup tournament for local youth groups.

Charlton was spotted playing at the park by scouts from Leeds.

He described the park as “our very own Wembley” where, as boys, the England World Cup-winning players spent their days.

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