HACKETT’S VERDICT: Remembering Juventus legend John Charles

HACKETT’S VERDICT: Remembering Juventus legend John Charles

I was delighted to learn that the sons of the great legend John Charles have been invited to watch Juventus play in the European Champions League Final at Cardiff this Saturday.

Many years ago I was officiating Juventus and after the game I was summoned to meet Umberto Agnelli the President of Juventus who enquired how their former player John Charles was.

I had that week read in the newspapers that John Charles had hit financial problems constructing a hotel near Batley, West Yorkshire.

He went into raptures at the feats Charles had achieved for Juventus and that he was a true legend. A week later I took a call at home from Juventus requesting me to referee a testimonial between Leeds Utd v Juventus for John Charles. I of course accepted, it would be a great honour. John however insisted that it was a joint testimonial for Bobby Collins and himself.

The game was a real pleasure and on another day I will highlight a story that involved Kenny Dalglish who was wearing the Leeds United shirt and a young apprentice player who took to the field with five minutes to go.

I will be watching the final between two great teams that in the past I have had the pleasure of refereeing.