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Delta throwback: Soccer star in town

Charlton had played for England's national team
The English soccer star demonstrated his world-class skills in North Delta.

Let’s head back to July 1971 when world champion pro soccer player Jackie Charlton coached a soccer clinic on the grounds of North Delta Secondary.

Demonstrating methods for controlling the ball, Charlton, who played for the national team of England, said that in most soccer-minded countries, potential players were kicking the ball around almost before they could walk.

He said it was much the same as pro hockey players in this country.

“This is the reason why English children have so much better control of the ball than Canadian youngsters at their age,” he explained.

He also said ball control could be learned, but that the boys would have to work hard at practice to catch up to their English counterparts.

The clinic was one of a series held in the Lower Mainland under the sponsorship of Mitre Sports.

Playing centre-half for Leeds United, Charlton was honoured at a special civic luncheon hosted by Mayor Dugald Morrison at the Town and Country Inn.

The player and former manager passed away fours years ago at the age of 85.