Legendary Leeds United defender Jack Charlton has revealed that he could have joined Newcastle before heading to Elland Road – if it wasn’t for his mother.
Charlton, 84, spent his entire career playing for Leeds and made a club-record 772 appearances across all competitions, scoring 95 goals in the process.
But Charlton might not have become the Leeds record holder and World Cup winner that we know him as today if it wasn’t for his mother stopping him from joining Newcastle when he was just starting his football career.
“I could have had a trial with Newcastle, but my mother never let us go there because she said that Newcastle would get kids to sign a form which meant they’d never be able to go anywhere else to play football. She wouldn’t have anything to do with them,” Charlton told Leeds’ official website.
Charlton remains a Newcastle fan despite not being allowed to head to St James’ Park while he was a youngster but he, obviously, also has Leeds United in his heart after all the years he spent at Elland Road.
“The two teams that I look for the results of before anyone – like with real anxiety… y’know, when you’re driving up the motorway or looking for a paper – are Leeds and Newcastle. I was brought up “black and white” as a kid, and then I had my career at Leeds.”
Charlton eventually got his wish of heading to Newcastle – but it was only short-lived.
The 1966 World Cup winner was talked into managing the Magpies by Jackie Milburn in 1984 but he resigned a year later after falling afoul of their supporters due to not signing Eric Gates, who joined Sunderland instead.
We’re glad that Charlton managed to get his Newcastle fix during a legendary career that every young English kid should be wishing to have.
In other Leeds United news, this striker was sold by Leeds last year and has since shone at a Premier League club.