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Jack Charlton’s brother calls for 1966 World Cup winner to receive posthumous knighthood

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jack charltons brother calls for 1966 world cup winner to receive posthumous knighthood

Jack Charlton’s brother has called for the 1966 World Cup winner to receive a posthumous knighthood.

Tommy said it would be a ‘fitting tribute’ to the England legend, who died peacefully on Friday aged 85 after battling dementia and lymphoma.

His appeal was echoed by celebrities and politicians, with former Liverpool star Ray Houghton branding it a ‘disgrace’ that he had not already been.

Tommy, 74, told the Mirror: ‘He was a well-respected, well-loved Englishman. I think a knighthood would be a fitting tribute to him after all he achieved.

‘It would be the finishing touch to his life wouldn’t it? I think that Jack is every bit as good as one or two of those who have been knighted recently. He was loved ­wherever he went.’

The honours system would have to be overhauled for him to receive the award because the current rules ban the awarding of knighthoods after a person dies.

Only two of the 1966 World Cup winning heroes were made sirs – Geoff Hurst and Bobby Charlton – while the manager Alf Ramsay was also later honoured.

It comes as Charlton’s granddaughter Emma Wilkinson told of her ‘extremely warm’ grandfather, who died peacefully at his Northumberland home with his family.

Emma Wilkinson told of her 'extremely warm, very tactile' grandfather (pictured) who died on Friday aged 85

Emma Wilkinson told of her 'extremely warm, very tactile' grandfather (pictured) who died on Friday aged 85

Emma Wilkinson told of her ‘extremely warm, very tactile’ grandfather (pictured) who died on Friday aged 85

Charlton (pictured winning the World Cup), who played for Leeds with distinction for 21 years and later managed the Republic of Ireland , was the brother of fellow England great Bobby

Charlton (pictured winning the World Cup), who played for Leeds with distinction for 21 years and later managed the Republic of Ireland , was the brother of fellow England great Bobby

Charlton (pictured winning the World Cup), who played for Leeds with distinction for 21 years and later managed the Republic of Ireland , was the brother of fellow England great Bobby

The ITV reporter, based in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, fought back tears as she recalled how the former Leeds star was competitive ‘no matter how old he was’.

She told GMB: ‘The person they’ve described is the person we know, and that’s testament really to how genuine and real he was.

‘Although we were always aware of his achievements, to me and my siblings and my cousins he was always our granddad, he would do anything for all of us.’

When asked if he was competitive, she added: ‘Yes and that really applied to, even at home, no matter how old he was he would never let us win.

‘He was extremely warm, very tactile, extremely present in our lives and he would have done anything for us. It will be hard him not being there anymore.’

Calls for Charlton to be posthumously knighted have gathered pace since his passing on Friday.

The former defender passed away at his Northumberland home on Friday after suffering from dementia and lymphoma. PIctured: Charlton waving at supporters in at the World Cup in 1990 after his Republic of Ireland side's quarter final defeat against Italy

The former defender passed away at his Northumberland home on Friday after suffering from dementia and lymphoma. PIctured: Charlton waving at supporters in at the World Cup in 1990 after his Republic of Ireland side's quarter final defeat against Italy

The former defender passed away at his Northumberland home on Friday after suffering from dementia and lymphoma. PIctured: Charlton waving at supporters in at the World Cup in 1990 after his Republic of Ireland side’s quarter final defeat against Italy

A statement from the Charlton family announcing his death expressed their pride at their 'much-adored husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather'

A statement from the Charlton family announcing his death expressed their pride at their 'much-adored husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather'

A statement from the Charlton family announcing his death expressed their pride at their ‘much-adored husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather’

Houghton said: ‘The word legend is used too much in football but not for Jack, for what he’s done domestically with Leeds, winning the World Cup, which he should have been knighted for, I’ve still never understood that, I think that’s an absolute disgrace and the fact that he did so well with Ireland.’

Ian Lavery MP, who represents ‘Big Jack’s’ home constituency of Wansbeck in Northumberland, is calling for the government to award the honour posthumously.

He tweeted: ‘I’ve submitted a Parliamentary Early Day Motion Calling on the Govenment to award a Posthumous Knighthood to the legend that is Big Jack Charlton. We’ll be launching a petition very soon.’

There have been various calls over the years for the entire 1966 team to given the top honour.

Sir Bobby Charlton had to wait until 1994 before he was finally knighted and Sir Geoff Hurst until 1998.

Which members of the 1966 World Cup winning team received honours?

  • Gordon Banks: OBE
  • George Cohen: MBE
  • Ray Wilson: MBE
  • Nobby Stiles: MBE
  • Jack Charlton: OBE
  • Bobby Moore: OBE
  • Alan Ball: MBE
  • Bobby Charlton: Knighted, CBE
  • Martin Peters: MBE
  • Geoff Hurst: Knighted, MBE
  • Roger Hunt: MBE
  • Alf Ramsey: Knighted
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Despite being the team’s captain – and one of England’s greatest ever footballers – Bobby Moore was never knighted before his death in 1993.

A campaign in 2016 for him to be knighted posthumously failed, despite the support of the then FA chairman Greg Dyke and a cross-party coalition of MPs.

Last year it was reported goalkeeper Gordon Banks missed out on a knighthood because officials lost key paperwork.

Friends were sure he was due to be made a sir in the 2019 New Year Honours, but although nomination papers had been submitted two years earlier, it was claimed they were then mislaid in a blunder by the Government’s honours committee. Banks died in February 2019.

All the members of the team were made MBEs, although farcically, five ‘forgotten’ players – Nobby Stiles, Alan Ball, Roger Hunt, Ray Wilson and George Cohen – did not receive theirs until 2000.

Jack Charlton, Moore and Banks were also made OBEs. In stark contrast to Britain’s failure to honour him, Charlton was awarded honorary Irish citizenship in 1996.

Charlton, who played for Leeds United with distinction for 21 years and later managed the Republic of Ireland, was the brother of fellow England great Bobby. The pair both played in the side which won the World Cup.

A statement from the Charlton family announcing his death expressed their pride at their ‘much-adored husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.’

They added he died peacefully with his loved ones by his side. The footballing legend is survived by his wife Pat Kemp and their three children.

Born in the coal-mining village of Ashington, Northumberland, in 1935, Charlton was the eldest of four brothers and his father was a miner.

The siblings at one point had to share the same bed because of the family’s tight finances.

Jack played alongside his brother (right) for England. The pair are pictured above shortly before the 1966 World Cup got underway. Pictured: The pair enjoy a celebratory drink with their mother Cissie after the World Cup victory

Jack played alongside his brother (right) for England. The pair are pictured above shortly before the 1966 World Cup got underway. Pictured: The pair enjoy a celebratory drink with their mother Cissie after the World Cup victory

Jack played alongside his brother (right) for England. The pair are pictured above shortly before the 1966 World Cup got underway. Pictured: The pair enjoy a celebratory drink with their mother Cissie after the World Cup victory

His granddaughters, Kate and Emma Wilkinson, shared their own heartfelt tributes and photos on Twitter, with both saying he was a ‘kind and genuine’ man.

Tributes also poured in from the footballing world. His former teammate Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored three goals in the 1966 World Cup final to help England win the trophy, said he was a ‘great and loveable character and will  be greatly missed.’ 

Leeds said it was ‘deeply saddened’ by his death and the England football team tweeted it was ‘devastated’ by the news.

Premier League players wore black armbands and held a minute’s silence before kick-off during the weekend’s games in tribute.

The statement from the Charlton family continued: ‘We cannot express how proud we are of the extraordinary life he led and the pleasure he brought to so many people in different countries and from all walks of life.

‘He was a thoroughly honest, kind, funny and genuine man who always had time for people.

‘His loss will leave a huge hole in all our lives but we are thankful for a lifetime of happy memories.’

Charlton’s granddaughter Kate Wilkinson said in her Twitter tribute: ‘Beyond sad to have to say goodbye to my beloved Grandad, Jack Charlton. 

‘He enriched so many lives through football, friendship and family. He was a kind, funny and thoroughly genuine man and our family will miss him enormously.’

Charlton's granddaughter Kate Wilkinson posted a moving Twitter tribute following his death on Friday

Charlton's granddaughter Kate Wilkinson posted a moving Twitter tribute following his death on Friday

Charlton’s granddaughter Kate Wilkinson posted a moving Twitter tribute following his death on Friday

Her sister Emma added: 'Yesterday was a very sad day. My grandad, Jack Charlton, died peacefully at home. 'He was kind, playful and genuine, and I'll miss him so much'

Her sister Emma added: 'Yesterday was a very sad day. My grandad, Jack Charlton, died peacefully at home. 'He was kind, playful and genuine, and I'll miss him so much'

Her sister Emma added: ‘Yesterday was a very sad day. My grandad, Jack Charlton, died peacefully at home. ‘He was kind, playful and genuine, and I’ll miss him so much’

30643548 8516745 image a 27 1594628802626

30643548 8516745 image a 27 1594628802626

Sir Geoff Hurst said in his tribute: ‘Another sad day for football. Jack was the type of player and person that you need in a team to win a World Cup.

‘He was a great and loveable character and he will be greatly missed . The world of football and the world beyond football has lost one of the greats. RIP old friend.’

Other leading figures in football also payed tribute to the star on Saturday – a day after he passed away.

Former England striker and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker tweeted: ‘Saddened to hear that Jack Charlton has passed away.

‘World Cup winner with England, manager of probably the best ever Ireland side and a wonderfully infectious personality to boot. RIP Jack.’

The England football team tweeted: ‘We are devastated by the news that Jack Charlton, a member of our World Cup-winning team of 1966, has passed away.

‘Our deepest sympathies are with Jack’s family, friends and former clubs.’

The victorious England team celebrate with the Jules Rimet Trophy after their World Cup victory against West Germany at Wembley Stadium. England won 4-2 after extra time. Back row (left-right): Peter Bonetti, George Eastham, Harold Shepherdson, Jack Charlton, Gordon Banks, Roger Hunt, Bobby Moore, George Cohen, Bobby Charlton. Front row: Nobby Stiles, Martin Peters and Ray Wilson

The victorious England team celebrate with the Jules Rimet Trophy after their World Cup victory against West Germany at Wembley Stadium. England won 4-2 after extra time. Back row (left-right): Peter Bonetti, George Eastham, Harold Shepherdson, Jack Charlton, Gordon Banks, Roger Hunt, Bobby Moore, George Cohen, Bobby Charlton. Front row: Nobby Stiles, Martin Peters and Ray Wilson

The victorious England team celebrate with the Jules Rimet Trophy after their World Cup victory against West Germany at Wembley Stadium. England won 4-2 after extra time. Back row (left-right): Peter Bonetti, George Eastham, Harold Shepherdson, Jack Charlton, Gordon Banks, Roger Hunt, Bobby Moore, George Cohen, Bobby Charlton. Front row: Nobby Stiles, Martin Peters and Ray Wilson

Outside Leeds's stadium, Elland Road, floral and written tributes to Charlon were left by adoring fans

Outside Leeds's stadium, Elland Road, floral and written tributes to Charlon were left by adoring fans

Outside Leeds’s stadium, Elland Road, floral and written tributes to Charlon were left by adoring fans

Mick McCarthy was appointed Republic captain by Charlton and went on to succeed the former defender as manager of the national side in 1996.

‘It’s a real shock that he’s passed away and I’m very, very sad,’ McCarthy told talkSPORT.

‘It was the happiest time of my career, he made it simple for me and I’ll always remember him for that.

‘I wasn’t the best player in that team, nowhere near. But he saw something in me and I’ll never forget him for that.’

John Aldridge, Houghton and McCarthy’s former Republic team-mate, tweeted: ‘Absolutely gutted that Big Jack has passed away!

‘What a football man, loved and adored, specially in Ireland. The best manager I was lucky to play for.

‘The times we had on and off the pitch were priceless! My thoughts are with (wife) Pat and the family! RIP my good friend. Never forgotten!’

Charlton spent his whole playing career at Leeds United and later managed the Republic of Ireland

Charlton spent his whole playing career at Leeds United and later managed the Republic of Ireland

Charlton spent his whole playing career at Leeds United and later managed the Republic of Ireland

A delighted Charlton lifts the FA Cup at Wembley after Leeds United beat Arsenal in 1972

A delighted Charlton lifts the FA Cup at Wembley after Leeds United beat Arsenal in 1972

A delighted Charlton lifts the FA Cup at Wembley after Leeds United beat Arsenal in 1972

In action for Leeds against younger brother Bobby, of Manchester United in January 1969

In action for Leeds against younger brother Bobby, of Manchester United in January 1969

In action for Leeds against younger brother Bobby, of Manchester United in January 1969

Paul McGrath, who played as a defender for Ireland when Charlton was manager, wrote: ‘Absolutely gutted. Father figure to me for 10 years, thanks for having faith in me. Sleep well Jack, love ya.’

In a further written tribute released by the Republic of Ireland’s Twitter account, McGrath added: ‘I am truly heartbroken at Jack’s passing. It is difficult for me to articulate what Jack meant to me both on and off the football field.

‘He gave me his full support when I needed it most and for which I am forever grateful. He has been a hugely important person in my life.’

He added: ‘The Irish people warmed to him because of his big character and he gave us the belief in ourselves to compete in the big tournaments.’

In another stirring tribute, John Anderson, who played under Charlton for both Newcastle and the Republic of Ireland, said his former manager was so humble that he kept his World Cup winner’s medal in a coal bucket.

He said: ‘I remember myself and Kenny Wharton going up to see him and, remember the World Cup coins that you used to collect with the players’ faces on?

‘He had a gold set of them and they were in a coal bucket, and beside them in the coal bucket was his World Cup winner’s medal.

Charlton managed the Republic of Ireland for a decade

Charlton managed the Republic of Ireland for a decade

He was also in charge of Middlesbrough for four years

He was also in charge of Middlesbrough for four years

Charlton managed the Republic of Ireland for a decade and was also in charge of Middlesbrough for four years. Pictured left: Charlton during his time as Ireland manager. Right: The manager shouts encouragement at his Middlesbrough players in 1974

Charlton guided his Republic of Ireland team to the Italia 90 World Cup quarter-finals

Charlton guided his Republic of Ireland team to the Italia 90 World Cup quarter-finals

Charlton guided his Republic of Ireland team to the Italia 90 World Cup quarter-finals

Jack and Bobby (right) became England's greatest sporting siblings by winning the World Cup

Jack and Bobby (right) became England's greatest sporting siblings by winning the World Cup

Jack and Bobby (right) became England’s greatest sporting siblings by winning the World Cup

‘He didn’t blink an eye. ‘They’re in there’, he said, nodding at the coal bucket beside the fire.’

He added: ‘He’s held in such high esteem in Ireland, Jack. He might have been born and bred in England, but he’s an honorary Irishman.

‘What he did for football – and not just football, what he did for the country – was remarkable, it really was.’

Middlesbrough FC, whom Charlton managed for four years from 1973 until 1977, tweeted: ‘We’re deeply saddened to report the passing of Jack Charlton, one of Boro’s greatest ever managers.’ 

Another of Charlton’s former clubs, Newcastle United, tweeted: ‘We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former NUFC manager and England World Cup winner, Jack Charlton at the age of 85. RIP, Jack. A true legend of the game.’

Lady Elsie Robson, the widow of former Ipswich, Barcelona and Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson and friend of Charlton, paid tribute to the former defender.

In a statement she said: ‘Jack was a great friend and a wonderful supporter of our cancer charity.

‘He’d come out to events and meet with fundraisers, and people were always so thrilled to meet a World Cup winner.

‘He had such a way about him. He’d just make us all smile. I feel for Pat and the family after their great loss and they have our heartfelt sympathy.’ 

Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin was among the first to tweet his reaction.

‘So saddened to hear of the passing of Jack Charlton who brought such honesty and joy to the football world.

‘He personified a golden era in Irish football – the Italia 90 campaign being one of pure joy for the nation. He gave us magical memories. Thank you Jack.’

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson added: ‘Jack Charlton was a football great whose achievements brought happiness to so many. My sympathies are with his family and friends.’

Charlton made a club record 773 appearances for Leeds over a span of 21 years between 1952 and 1973 and was regarded as one of the game’s finest defenders.

He helped the Yorkshire club win the second division title in 1963-64 and then the first division in 1968-69.

This successful Leeds side also won the FA Cup in 1972, the League Cup in 1968 and two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups in 1968 and 1971.

Despite not being called into the England team until days before his 30th birthday, Charlton won 35 caps and, playing alongside younger brother Bobby, lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy at Wembley in 1966.

He also helped England finish third at the 1968 European Championship and in between was voted the Football Writer’s Association Footballer of the Year in 1967.

After hanging up his boots, Charlton worked as a manager, taking Middlesbrough into the top-flight in 1974 before moving on to Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United.

But he is fondly remembered as Ireland’s manager. He led them to the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup and they qualified for Euro 1988 and the 1994 World Cup.

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Prankster mother recreates moment daughter wrote off her Mini… by baking her a cake of the crash

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prankster mother recreates moment daughter wrote off her mini by baking her a cake of the crash

Lovingly crafted it may be, but this birthday cake was hard to swallow for its mortified recipient.

Samantha Stone’s mum gave her a sponge replicating the crash site where she wrote off her new Mini days before her 21st.

Alex, 41, invited the whole family round for a surprise party, where she brought out the cake revealing the embarrassing mishap.

Samantha, a special effects make-up student, said: ‘I was so upset about losing my car so she said she would make me a special cake. 

Samantha Stone's mum gave her a sponge replicating the crash site where she wrote off her new Mini days before her 21st

Samantha Stone's mum gave her a sponge replicating the crash site where she wrote off her new Mini days before her 21st

Samantha Stone’s mum gave her a sponge replicating the crash site where she wrote off her new Mini days before her 21st

‘The lights went out and in front of everyone she brought it out while everyone was singing happy birthday. 

‘I was like ”Oh my god” then I just burst into laughter. She’s such a comedian.

‘The worst part is my grandad who bought me the car knew nothing about it. He was just happy that I was ok.’ 

Samantha, of Nottingham, bruised her knee in the crash when the car skidded off the road and hit a tree.

She added: ‘I didn’t realise what it was at first but as soon as I realised what she had done I nearly died.

Alex, 41, invited the whole family round for a surprise party, where she brought out the cake revealing the embarrassing mishap

Alex, 41, invited the whole family round for a surprise party, where she brought out the cake revealing the embarrassing mishap

Alex, 41, invited the whole family round for a surprise party, where she brought out the cake revealing the embarrassing mishap

Samantha, a special effects make-up student, said: 'I was so upset about losing my car so she said she would make me a special cake. I was like ''Oh my god'' then I just burst into laughter. She's such a comedian'

Samantha, a special effects make-up student, said: 'I was so upset about losing my car so she said she would make me a special cake. I was like ''Oh my god'' then I just burst into laughter. She's such a comedian'

Samantha, a special effects make-up student, said: ‘I was so upset about losing my car so she said she would make me a special cake. I was like ”Oh my god” then I just burst into laughter. She’s such a comedian’

‘My grandad was right next to me but had no idea the car he brought me was ruined.

‘He just put his head in his hands and asked me what it was about, so I had to explain to him that I crashed it.’

Samantha said will never be able to forget it as her crafty mum made sure to take pictures of her cutting the cake – which is a mirror image of the crashed car picture Samantha sent to her mum when she crashed it.

Samantha, said: ‘It was really funny and it brought everything into perspective, I was really upset about the car but we’ve all had a laugh about it and it’s a birthday cake I will never forget.’

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RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: After The Two Ronnies of Doom, here’s the speech Boris Johnson SHOULD give today

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richard littlejohn after the two ronnies of doom heres the speech boris johnson should give today

Boris Johnson is today expected to announce further restrictions on our freedom aimed at preventing an upsurge in coronavirus.

Like Al Pacino, as Michael Corleone in Godfather III, just when we thought we were out, they pull us back in.

The new rules could include forcing pubs to close either early or altogether, rescinding efforts to persuade people to return to their offices, and £10,000 fines for those who fail to self-isolate.

On Monday, the ground was prepared by the Prime Minister’s no-singing, no-dancing warm-up act, Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty.

Sitting 6ft apart behind a newsreader-style desk, The Two Ronnies of Doom delivered an alarmist prognosis of a rising death toll, backed up by speculative graphs based on ‘the science’ — what most of us would call ‘guesswork’. 

Boris Johnson (pictured on Monday) is expected to announce further restrictions on our freedom aimed at preventing an upsurge in coronavirus on Tuesday

Boris Johnson (pictured on Monday) is expected to announce further restrictions on our freedom aimed at preventing an upsurge in coronavirus on Tuesday

Boris Johnson (pictured on Monday) is expected to announce further restrictions on our freedom aimed at preventing an upsurge in coronavirus on Tuesday

They could have looked at another graph, from Monday’s Daily Mail, which showed that cancer kills around 450 people a day, compared to just 21 from — or should that be with? — coronavirus. 

Five people die daily in traffic accidents. In fact, for those under 50, you’re more likely to be hit by a bus than contract a fatal dose of Covid.

But using the Government’s better-safe-than-sorry approach to the corona pandemic, that would be enough to justify closing every road in Britain.

Hang on. Come to think of it, that’s exactly what they are doing.

During Monday’s dismal YOU’RE ALL GOING TO DIE! diatribe, Vallance and Whitty even managed to invert the language, talking about Britain ‘turning the corner’ — and not in a good way. When normal folk speak of turning the corner, it usually means things are getting better.

As far as the Two Ronnies are concerned, things can only ever get worse. Unless we do as we’re told, it’ll be goodnight from me, goodnight from him, and Goodnight Vienna for the rest of us. 

This wasn’t a prediction, they insisted, simply a way of looking at things, even admitting at one stage that their worst-case scenario was founded upon a ‘big if’.

Why is Boris being guided by these two merchants of misery and not, say, Professors of Medicine Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson, from Oxford University, who accuse ministers of crashing the economy on the basis of poor statistics and ill-informed advice?

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, they said: ‘The PM might as well be using the planets to guide us through this pandemic.’

That’s exactly the kind of imaginative turn of phrase Boris would have conjured up in his former, free-spirited incarnation as a libertarian newspaper columnist.

Yet since contracting Covid, he has transmogrified from risk-taking iconoclast into ultra risk-averse statesman.

What he fails to understand is that when we voted for him, we thought we were electing happy-go-lucky Boris 1.0.

Before deciding which way to jump in the EU referendum, Boris is said to have composed two columns — one pro-Leave, one pro-Remain.

Let’s hope that before he gets on to his hind legs today, he prepared two speeches. And that at the last minute he rips up the first version, declaring another series of lockdowns lasting six months, and rediscovers his inner libertarian. 

Professors of Medicine Carl Heneghan (above) and Tom Jefferson, from Oxford University, said that 'the PM might as well be using the planets to guide us through this pandemic'

Professors of Medicine Carl Heneghan (above) and Tom Jefferson, from Oxford University, said that 'the PM might as well be using the planets to guide us through this pandemic'

Professors of Medicine Carl Heneghan (above) and Tom Jefferson, from Oxford University, said that ‘the PM might as well be using the planets to guide us through this pandemic’

It could go something like this…

‘Friends, Zoomans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come not to appease Covid but to bury it. For too long our great nation has cowered before this vile interloper.

I promised to run the most open and transparent administration in history. That is why, with this brutally honest and unprecedented progress report, I am determined to level with you.

For the past six months, we have sacrificed our economy — and indeed our sanity — on the wonky altar of this pandemic. Even old Bojo went a bit doolally after my own brush with the Grim Reaper.

I would like to believe that what we got wrong, we got wrong for all the right reasons. At the outset, we knew as little about this pestilence as the Chinese know about the Duckworth-Lewis method for deciding cricket matches. 

It was a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. And in the words of one of my distinguished predecessors as Prime Minister, we were ‘frit’.

We relied too heavily on the boffins, who were none the wiser than anyone else. While early precautions were only prudent, we kept the country in lockdown unnecessarily, because we didn’t have a clue about what to do next.

I confess that most of the time we have been making it up as we’ve gone along, hoping like Micawber that something might turn up.

If we continue to be guided by ‘the science’, the consequences will be catastrophic. The so-called experts want us to lockdown again because they won’t admit their mistakes.

‘Their predictions have turned out to be an inverted pyramid of piffle. They are like some sherry-crazed old dowager who has lost the family silver at roulette and who now decides to double down by betting the house as well.

It is time for me to Take Back Control. As another of my famous predecessors once said: scientists should be on tap, not on top.

Our overreaction to this fiendish bug has already done to the economy what Vesuvius did to ancient Pompeii.

The Covid scare has inflicted more damage on London than the Luftwaffe.

But we beat the Hun and we can beat corona, not by huddling in our air raid shelters but by recapturing our Blitz Spirit.

As of Tuesday, all restrictions on freedom of movement and assembly are revoked, along with those ridiculous road closures, bike lanes and widened pavements.

Face masks may be worn by Nervous Nellies, but no one will be fined for not wearing one. Social distance if you wish, but we trust you to use your common sense.

British people should be able to make their own choices with all the freedom and exhilaration of our woad-painted ancestors.

On Monday, Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty delivered an alarmist prognosis of a rising death toll (both above)

On Monday, Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty delivered an alarmist prognosis of a rising death toll (both above)

On Monday, Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty delivered an alarmist prognosis of a rising death toll (both above)

We will stop lecturing you on the need to lose weight. That is a personal choice. Yours truly has managed to shed a bit of adipose timber, but my policy on cake has always been pro-having it and pro-eating it.

There is absolutely no one, apart from yourself, who can prevent you, in the middle of the night, from sneaking down to tidy up the edges of that hunk of cheese at the back of the fridge.

It’s your funeral, and as of Tuesday the number of mourners will no longer be limited to 30. The Rule of Six has been ripped up.

The Seven Dwarfs are restored to their full complement. Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s back to work we go. And any civil servant who refuses to report back to the office on Monday will be dismissed summarily.

This is the not the end of the beginning, or even the beginning of the end, this is the end of hunkering down and hoping for the best.

We shall fight Covid in the streets, and in the pubs, and in the theatres.

We will fight on the beaches, too, once we’ve cleared away all the dinghies arriving from Calais.

We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Most people stand about as much chance of dying from Covid as finding Elvis on Mars, being decapitated by a Frisbee or reincarnated as an olive.

Naysayers and doom-mongers may warn this new libertarian approach is reckless and will end in disaster.

But, my friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters.

So let freedom ring out once again. No more timorous Septic Isle. The standing army of Covid marshals has been demobbed. The boffins have been put back in their box.

The Two Ronnies of Doom have been cancelled. So it’s good night from me, and it’s goodnight to them.

Goodnight!’

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People who get both flu and Covid-19 are in ‘serious trouble’: Co-infection raises risk of death

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people who get both flu and covid 19 are in serious trouble co infection raises risk of death

People who catch Covid-19 and flu at the same time are in ‘serious trouble’, Public Health England has warned amid fears Britain will be hit with a ‘double whammy’ this winter.

Findings from the government agency’s research suggests that co-infection doubles the risk of death. 

Analysis also showed the handful of hospitalised patients who had both infections simultaneously during the pandemic were around six times more likely to die than those who tested negative for both infections.

Officials have urged the public ‘not to be complacent’ over the flu by declining the offer of a free vaccination this autumn.

This year will see the biggest ever flu vaccination programme for the UK, with health chiefs hoping to reach 30million people against the 15million last year.

Usual groups will be targeted first, including over 65s and pregnant women. And if there is enough doses left over, those over the age of 50 will be next in line.

The great concern is that if people are not protected against the flu, hospitals will be overrun with sick people unsure if they have flu or Covid-19, or both.

But some experts have insisted Britain ‘almost certainly’ will not see two consecutive waves of flu and coronavirus.

Flu infections during the cold long months in the southern hemisphere are a canary in a coalmine for how hard the NHS will be hit by outbreaks, and are used to design the preventative flu vaccine.

But this year Australia and New Zealand have escaped a bad flu season, which top experts say is down to social distancing measures. 

Overall 43 per cent of people with co-infection died compared to 27 per cent of those who tested positive for just Covid-19. For flu it was 4.8 per cent. The risk of death from just Covid-19 or just the flu is much lower than the study implies - around one per cent. But because the testing is skewed towards the sickest people, the death rates in the study were far higher

Overall 43 per cent of people with co-infection died compared to 27 per cent of those who tested positive for just Covid-19. For flu it was 4.8 per cent. The risk of death from just Covid-19 or just the flu is much lower than the study implies - around one per cent. But because the testing is skewed towards the sickest people, the death rates in the study were far higher

Overall 43 per cent of people with co-infection died compared to 27 per cent of those who tested positive for just Covid-19. For flu it was 4.8 per cent. The risk of death from just Covid-19 or just the flu is much lower than the study implies – around one per cent. But because the testing is skewed towards the sickest people, the death rates in the study were far higher

Professor Tim Spector, of King's College London , moved to reassure parents the symptom, alongside congestion and sneezing, is a 'sure sign' they have a cold and not Covid-19. Pictured are the common symptoms of Covid-19 compared with a cold or bout of flu

Professor Tim Spector, of King's College London , moved to reassure parents the symptom, alongside congestion and sneezing, is a 'sure sign' they have a cold and not Covid-19. Pictured are the common symptoms of Covid-19 compared with a cold or bout of flu

Professor Tim Spector, of King’s College London , moved to reassure parents the symptom, alongside congestion and sneezing, is a ‘sure sign’ they have a cold and not Covid-19. Pictured are the common symptoms of Covid-19 compared with a cold or bout of flu

PHE researchers analysed data in almost 20,000 people who were tested for both Covid-19 and flu in the UK between January 20 and April 25.  

The study cohort would have mostly been people very seriously ill with Covid-19, considering testing was limited to just hospitals at the start of the pandemic until about May.

‘Most of the SARS-CoV-2 tests were collected when the government policy was to test individuals on admission to hospital with lower respiratory tract infections and healthcare workers. Therefore, the majority of SARS-CoV-2 cases were individuals with moderate to severe symptoms,’ the report said.

Fifty eight people were identified as having ‘co-infection’ of the two viruses. 

While the numbers of people with both illnesses were small, the risk of death was nearly six times (5.92) greater among those co-infected compared to the general population.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FLU AND COVID-19? 

Flu is a viral infection that is spread through coughs and sneezes. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, spreads in the same way.

Most people recover from the flu with rest in a week. And most people who get Covid-19 also recover within two weeks or show no symptoms at all. 

But  with both illnesses, people with chronic conditions or who are over 65 are at significant risk of severe illness, complications or death. 

The flu is more common during winter. But it is not clear yet if Covid-19 is also a seasonal illnesses. It is suspected that this is the case, considering it is in the coronavirus family, which also includes the common cold.

SYMPTOMS OF FLU

Symptoms can include fever and chills, a cough, sore throat and a runny or stuffy nose.

Muscle aches, joint pains, headaches and fatigue are also common.

Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea are more common in children than adults.

Some symptoms may last for more than a week. Medical help should be sought if there is a shortness of breath or rapid breathing, chest pain, sudden dizziness or persistent vomiting.

SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

The main symptoms of coronavirus listed by the NHS are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual) 
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal 

The World Health Organization says Covid-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.

Most common symptoms:

  • fever 
  • dry cough
  • tiredness

Less common symptoms:

  • aches and pains
  • sore throat 
  • diarrhoea
  • conjunctivitis
  • headache
  • loss of taste or smell 
  • a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes 

Serious symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • chest pain or pressure
  • loss of speech or movement
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The risk of death was also 2.3 times higher for patients who had caught both viruses, compared to being infected with Covid-19 alone. 

Overall, 43 per cent of people with co-infection died compared to 27 per cent of those who tested positive for just Covid-19. For flu it was 4.8 per cent. 

The risk of death from just Covid-19 or just the flu is much lower than the study implies – and is estimated to be below one per cent. But because the testing is skewed towards the sickest people and not the entire population, the death rates in the study were far higher.

Those who died ‘tended’ to be older, PHE said. 

Flu can be particularly serious in older adults, very young children and people with underlying health conditions, such as COPD, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and multiple sclerosis.

The same is true for Covid-19 – other than for children, who often escape without showing any symptoms. 

PHE’s medical director Professor Yvonne Doyle, said: ‘If you get both, you are in some serious trouble. 

‘And the people who are most likely to get both of these infections may be the very people who can least afford to in terms of their own immune system or their risk for serious outcomes.

‘Please protect yourself against flu this year.’ 

Flu usually kills around 11,000 people each year in England and many more are hospitalised.  

But it varies depending on the severity of the flu strain. There were almost 4,000 deaths in 2018/19 but over 22,000 deaths in 2017/18.    

The flu jab is the best protection against influenza but statistics show the number of vulnerable people getting free flu jabs in England is at an eight-year low. 

Last winter just 45 per cent of people under 65 with serious health conditions, who are offered the vaccine for free on the NHS, received the jab.

This has tumbled from a peak of 52.3 per cent in the winter of 2013 and is the worst uptake since Public Health England’s records began in 2012. 

The World Health Organization has previously said that countries should aim to vaccinate 75 per cent of their vulnerable population.  

England’s most senior health officials have implored eligible people to get vaccinated when they get their invitation. 

Professor Doyle said: ‘We’re encouraging anybody who is eligible to accept their flu vaccination this year, particularly with the winter we’re going to face.

‘People still think that the flu is just like a cold. It’s not. The flu is an extremely unpleasant condition.

‘If you’re in a risk group, it can be really dangerous, and it can kill you. The vaccine is good, it’s safe, and it does protect people. So it’s worth having it.’

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer for England, said: ‘We want to deliver the most extensive flu programme possible. And we will have enough vaccine this year for 30million people in total.

‘And this obviously is very important in a year where we face the possibility that flu and Covid-19 and may at some point this winter, circulate together and at the same time.’

There has been speculation that because the flu and the coronavirus will compete with each other, SARS-CoV-2 will be pushed out of circulation. 

The PHE study showed the risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 was 68 per cent lower among those positive for the flu, ‘suggesting possible pathogenic competition between the two viruses’.

However, Professor Doyle said that the first peak of the pandemic coincided with the end of the flu season last year so the full interaction between the two viruses is not yet fully known. 

Professor Van-Tam said that alongside the PHE data, there have been studies in mice which found ‘bad outcomes’ among those infected with both flu and Covid-19.

‘There are multiple, plausible reasons why it’s a very bad idea to have Covid-19 and flu at the same time. And of course, that possibility is real for this winter,’ he said. 

Australia and New Zealand have given hope that Britain will not inevitably be hit by the flu and Covid-19 at the same time.

So far this year Australia has recorded only 21,000 influenza infections, fourteen times lower than last year’s figure at 313,000. 

After Sydney declared a lockdown on March 23, flu cases dropped from 5,895 for the entire month to 308 in April, and to a low of 121 in August.

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Australia, which faces a similar flu outbreak to the UK, saw very few flu infections this winter. This suggests the UK may dodge a ‘double-whammy’ of coronavirus and the flu

WINTER WAVE OF COVID-19 ‘COULD OVERWHELM 87% OF NHS HOSPITALS’ 

A report published earlier this month warned more than a hundred NHS Trusts may be overwhelmed this winter if the coronavirus hospitalisation rate surges to the level seen in April.

A comparison of the average number of beds needed between December 2019 and February 2020, and the number of beds required for Covid-19 patients in April, at the peak of the pandemic, showed the startling figures.

It revealed that out of the 132 surveyed using data published by the NHS, 115 would be over-capacity should demand rise It showed 115 of the 132 studied would be over-capacity should there be a surge in hospitalisations.

Four of the five NHS trusts that could set to suffer the biggest shortage of beds are in the capital, with one, Walsall Healthcare, based near Birmingham. 

The analysis, carried out by Edge Health and The Guardian, did not include extra capacity provided by Nightingale hospitals or the private sector due to a lack of data.

An NHS England spokesman said the health service is using a £3billion funding boost to ensure it has beds available in private hospitals, and maintain Nightingale hospitals until March 2021. 

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New Zealand didn’t see one influenza case since screening began in June. Last year about 57 per cent of samples collected by GPs were positive, The Guardian reported. 

Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline Britain ‘almost certainly’ will not see two consecutive waves of flu and coronavirus. 

‘There’s been virtually no influenza around in the southern hemisphere during their flu season this year and the reason for that is obvious,’ he said. ‘The things we’re doing to control Covid are even more effective on influenza.’

Dr Ed Hill, a post-doctoral researcher working on modelling the spread of disease at the University of Warwick, told MailOnline measures to inhibit the spread of coronavirus will also ‘disrupt’ influenza transmission.

Dr Nikita Kanani, medical director for primary care for the NHS in England, said ‘about 32million people’ would be contacted and encouraged to take up their flu jab.

Officials have said they are widening the flu vaccination programme for the UK to reach at least 30million people.  

In the last winter season (2019/20), only 15million of the 25million people eligible for a free vaccination took the offer (60 per cent). 

It suggests if everyone in these groups took up their free jab this year, there would not be enough for additional people, or only some. 

This year people eligible for the flu vaccine include primary school children and Year 7 pupils, who will be offered the flu nasal spray in schools. Two and three-year-olds will be offered the vaccine through their GP. 

Those age 65 and over, people with long-term health conditions and pregnant women will be offered the vaccine through their GP or pharmacy.

Household contacts of people who were instructed to ‘shield’ during the first wave of the pandemic will be invited.

And health and social care workers who have direct contact with the people they care for will be offered the jab.

Once the first at risk groups have been contacted, the vaccine programme will also be rolled out to include people over the age of 50.

It is hoped that a new campaign across TV, radio and digital advertising will encourage those who are eligible to accept their invitation when it is sent out.

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