THIS week has seen so many funny stories and happy memories about Jack Charlton, I must share mine.

Big Jack as manager of the national team was adored in Ireland as one of their own.

One of the Irish squad players Paul McGrath described him as a father figure.

I watched Ireland play Holland in the 1994 World Cup match in a pub in Clonakilty, County Cork.

It was packed to the rafters. Even the local Post Office shut early with a sign on the door saying “owing to the World Cup we are closing early”!

Holland were winning 2-0 and in the dying moments Paul McGrath scored for Ireland.

On screen the score 2-1 flashed up and the pub went wild with celebrations.

Big Jack and Paul were exalted in song and dance.

Suddenly Paul scored another and then a third in quick succession.

Bedlam and booze broke out everywhere and the TV screen went blank from flying stout.

We were still celebrating when news came through that Ireland had actually lost 2-0.

Paul McGrath’s goal had been disallowed for a foul and the other two goals were simply replays of the disallowed goal ...from different angles.

They were still singing Jack’s name when the Post Office opened up the following day.

Even in defeat Big Jack was and still is an Irish legend.

Clement O’Donovan, Frosterley