Cork artist 'blown away' by the reaction to his commemorative illustration of Jack Charlton

Cork artist 'blown away' by the reaction to his commemorative illustration of Jack Charlton

Jack Charlton illustration by Jack Collins, commissioned by the FA. You can follow Jack Collins on on Instagram @jc.artdesign and on Twitter @cackjollins 

A Cork graphic designer and illustrator has said he is "completely blown away" by the reaction to his commemorative illustration of Jack Charlton, commissioned by the Football Association (FA) in England.

Jack Collins, originally from Douglas but living in Turners Cross, was contacted by the FA to create the tribute piece to the late Big Jack ahead of the friendly game between the Republic of Ireland and England in Wembley last night.

Speaking to The Echo Mr Collins said he first thought the email was a scam when it landed in his inbox two weeks ago.

"I got an email out of the blue two weeks ago yesterday from the FA’s marketing department. I thought it was a phishing scam or something at first!

"There were two people copied on the mail so I Googled them and it turned out that they were real people," he laughed.

"They had found an illustration of Jack Charlton I had done a few days after he died just through Google images and it linked them to my website.

"They were looking for an Irish illustrator to do something up," he explained.

Mr Collins, who said he was honoured to be asked to do the illustration, was given free rein on the design.

"They said I could create the piece in any style I wanted. 

"They did say that they loved the original Jack Charlton illustration so I created something that looked a bit like that. "The only thing that they specified is that they wanted a reference to his time as Ireland manager and as a player with England," he said.

Mr Collins says he has been inundated with kind messages since the FA shared the illustration on their social media yesterday morning, along with the caption 'Two nations. One legend. You’ll never be forgotten, Jack.'

Mr Collins studied architecture at university before choosing to pursue a career as an illustrator and graphic designer, a skill he taught himself.

"I worked in bars and I taught myself graphic design on the side for gig posters and things like that in a couple of pubs and venues I worked in town over the years.

"I got some freelance jobs and I work part-time with Musgraves as a designer as well," he said.

On a high after the reception to his latest commission, Mr Collins will be celebrating again in four week's time when he is set to get married. 

"At the moment I’m mad busy with graphic design stuff. 

"I do a lot of work with Joes+Bros in town and I’ve some more illustration commissions for Christmas presents for people.

"I’m actually getting married in four weeks so I’m trying to get everything sorted by then!"

To view more work by Jack Collins, visit his website

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