I couldn’t believe I would be so saddened to hear of the passing of a football manager – But I was. Jack Charlton was such a part of our life in 32 for a decade.
He personified a golden era in Irish football-the Italia 90 campaign being one of pure joy for the O’Loughlin family as we sent our representatives to Italy for the 1990 World Cup.
And we, at home, might as well have been there. We knew all the support songs. I even played one of them – We’re all part of Jackie’s Army – at the end of year mass in Milltown by special request of the PP. (I was the official organist there – God help us!). I was also the band conductor and on the afternoons of matches the band sat on the wall outside the school giving (strange but enthusiastic!) renditions of “Ole, Ole. Ole!” and “Jackie’s Army” with lots of flag waving and singing by non-band students.
We had high expectations for USA World Cup 1994 and “knew” it was the heat of New York and the humidity of Florida that brought about our downfall. I still have the video of Jim’s appearance on the Nine o’clock News singing pre-match in Miami.