Jack’s Army have been reunited for the first time in 30 years.
Bookmaker Paddy Power brought the legendary crop of players together to capture a special moment yesterday as they paid tribute to manager Jack Charlton – by donning the same flat caps famously sported by honorary Irishman.
The image was taken at a private event organised by ex-footballer Niall Quinn, to reunite the manager and his former Republic of Ireland squad, gathering them together for the first time since Ray Houghton stuck the ball in the back of England’s net during Stuttgart ‘88, and their crusades at Italia ’90 and USA ’94.
The occasion, which was held at The K Club, in Co. Kildare, will see the boys in green take on the greens of the facilities impressive Ryder Cup Course this afternoon.
Each of the players, including greats such as Packie Bonner, Paul McGrath, Liam Brady, Ray Houghton, Mick McCarthy and John Aldridge, will head up four-man teams for a round of golf.
Paddy Power have opened betting on the golf tournament, with all losing stakes donated to Niall Quinn’s chosen charity, The Liam Miller Fund, fittingly chosen as his testimonial match happens on Tuesday, September 25th.
Spokesman Paddy Power said: “Jack’s Army raised the bar for the entire country in the 80’s and 90’s and these players names are emblazoned into the minds of anyone who was lucky enough to be alive during the Jack Charlton era.
“So Paddy Power are calling on football fans to give it a lash for Jack’s Army and raise some funds for the Liam Miller Fund by backing their favourite Irish football hero to win. We will donate the losing stakes to the charity, with an additional guaranteed minimum contribution.”
Niall Quinn, who himself received 92 caps for The Republic of Ireland, said: “Under the leadership of Jack Charlton, the Irish team were part of something really special. It’s hard to believe that many of the lads here today haven’t seen each other since then.
“We wanted to mark the milestone in fitting fashion and also benefit The Liam Miller Testimonial Fund, so it’s a huge honour for all of us to be in the presence of Jack Charlton again after all of these years, and for such a great cause,” he said.