JACK Charlton is synonymous with one book, his "little black book", as he revealed in a 1970 television interview.

It had "two players in it, and if I get a chance to do them I will. I will make them suffer before I pack this game in," said the Leeds United and England 1966 World Cup-winning centre half.

Well, that was then, and it was all part of the Dirty Leeds dark arts legacy that refuses to die, but now there is another Jack Charlton book, The Authorised Biography by Colin Young, whose journalistic career began at 18 in the newsroom of his local paper, the Yorkshire Evening Press, in 1988 before he switched to sports reporting at the Hull Daily Mail and onwards to 20 years as the North Eastern football correspondent for assorted national newspapers.

Gazette & Herald:

Jack Charlton: "Just give him a pie and a pint and he'd be happy," says author Colin Young

During that time too he covered the Republic of Ireland team for the Irish Daily Mail, the team that Jack Charlton had led to its greatest successes before resigning in 1995.

Hence the book's back sleeve describes Jack, now 81, as "one of the true legends of Irish and English football". Irish first, note! Even though he and brother Bobby are woven into the tapestry of England's football history from their 1966 deeds and Jack is Leeds United's record appearance holder, his 773 games in 21 years at Elland Road pipping captain Billy Bremner by one from Don Revie's "revered and reviled" era.

There has been a Jack Charlton autobiography, plainly titled The Autobiography 19 years ago, and Leo McKinstry explored "brothers in conflict" in Jack And Bobby in 2009, but Young's book is different again. As Big Jack says in his foreword: "I've said all I need to say. So we're happy to let people we've met along the way tell their stories. Because it's about them as much as me."

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Jack Charlton in a family moment in one of the photographs in Colin Young's new book

Glorious storyteller as Jack is – as reflected in his popularity on the after-dinner, after-shooting and after-fishing circuit – the stories are now told by those around him: centre-back partner Norman Hunter and Duncan and Kim Revie from the Leeds years; Graeme Souness, Chris Waddle, Peter Beardsley and Paul Gascoigne from his club management days at Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United; Niall Quinn, Paul McGrath, Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy from his Eire era. Not brother Bobby, mind you.

Young grew to know Jack through his North Eastern and Irish sports writing and he recalls one such encounter particularly fondly. "We were both on a plane to Dublin, and Jack recognised me, which is rare, though he didn't remember my name, which is not rare, but he invited me to go into Dublin in the car with him," he recalls.

"He took me on a tour of Dublin, just being himself, and it got to be like a parting of the seas with everyone waving at him as he went through. I just fell in love with the whole thing and you could see why they loved him so much and vice versa."

So, Jack is indeed a true legend of Irish and English football, in that order. It makes sense now. "The essence of Jack Charlton is that he's a genuine, ordinary working-class hero who's never changed from the young Ashington colliery lad who was shooting and fishing to feed his family," says Young. "Just give him a pie and a pint and he'd be happy."

Jack Charlton, The Authorised Biography, by Colin Young is published by Hero Books