We must honour Jack Charlton's memory with a fitting permanent tribute in Leeds - Laura Collins, YEP editor

As Leeds United and the city mourn the passing of Revie Boy Jack Charlton now is the time to look for a fitting memorial to his legacy.

By Laura Collins
Monday, 13th July 2020, 6:00 am
Tributes left outside Elland Road in memory of Jack Charlton

It has become an all too sadly familiar appearance outside the hallowed grounds of Elland Road.

The Revie Boys, Leeds United, its fans and the city have been dealt three hammer blows in the space of as many months with the loss of Norman Hunter, Trevor Cherry and now legendary player Jack Charlton.

Charlton, 85, died on Friday following a long-term illness, with his family by his side.The bitter blow of Charlton’s passing will be keenly felt by the club who recently mourned the loss of Hunter and Cherry.

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Fans gather outside Elland Road to leave messages and tributes.

Another great from the club’s greatest team immortalised and forever remembered in the annals of football folklore.

And that sense of grief is epitomised in the dozens of floral tributes, notes, scarves and shirts left fluttering in the breeze outside Elland Road.

Heartfelt messages left from fans from across the generations show the true measure of the great man.

They were lovingly penned for a “true Leeds legend” with messages echoing the optimism that the club will be promoted in his memory.

A message from a fan outside Elland Road

Big Jack was just 15 when he joined Leeds United and 38 when he left the club where he spent his playing years.

Goal scoring was something of a sideline for the defender, who hit the net 96 times in his 773 Leeds outings.

Revered as one of the all-time great central defenders in the game Charlton was part of Sir Alf Ramsey’s England World Cup squad in 1966 - playing in every match that saw the Three Lions roar to glory.

He will always be remembered as one of the club’s true greats - he loved Leeds and the club’s faithful loved him back.

But before the sad passing of yet another legend, the Revie Boys were left in no doubt just how well loved they were by the city.

They were loved, celebrated and honoured during the club’s centenary last year after the Freedom of the City was bestowed to the team who forged the club’s greatest era.

The campaign, which was spearheaded by this newspaper, was the perfect chance to say thank you for putting our city’s football club firmly on the map.

And now as we mourn the loss of another great from that legendary team we need to cherish those that remain.

And we need to ensure that their memories and legacy will endure.

Leeds paid a fitting and lasting tribute to Hunter with the renaming of the South Stand in his honour.

And today the Yorkshire Evening Post is calling for a permanent memorial at the club where Big Jack made such an impact over the years.

An obvious option would be to rename the East Stand in his memory.

Or maybe Charlton’s legacy could be used to inspire a future generation of footballers by naming the new Fullerton Park sports hub after the legend.

As a city we need to ensure that his legacy continues to live on as a fitting thank you to a footballing giant who dedicated his playing career to Leeds.

His name will be forever immortalised in the pages of footballing history.

And now is the chance for the city of Leeds to show its gratitude to someone who was quite simply a true hero and a real gentleman.