Football hero John Charles appears on postage stamp

Gary Richards, former Swansea City star and now a postman, with the John Charles stamp
Image caption Gary Richards, former Swansea City star and now a postman, with the John Charles stamp

Welsh footballing legend John Charles has been honoured in a new set of stamps celebrating 150 years of the Football Association.

The Swansea-born striker and centre-back, who died in 2004, is regarded as one of Wales' greatest players.

He is one of 11 football heroes from Wales, Northern Ireland, England and Scotland to feature on the new stamps.

They have been illustrated by artist Andrew Kinsman, who based his work on photographs of the players.

He then created a composite artwork, so that when the 11 stamps are placed together, they form a traditional team shot.

Image caption John Charles (right) won three Italian league titles with Juventus

The 11 players selected were chosen for their outstanding record on the pitch and representation of their home country.

Charles left his home city of Swansea to sign for Leeds at the age of 17 and settled in the city after his football career was over.

He joined Juventus for a then-British-record fee of £65,000 in 1957, winning three championships and the Italian cup in five years at the club.

Charles, known as the Gentle Giant, also played for Cardiff City, Roma, Hereford United, Merthyr Tydfil and represented Wales at the World Cup in Sweden in 1958.

Jonathan Ford, chief executive of the Football Association of Wales, said: "All football supporters, not just in Wales, will be delighted with the news that John Charles is to be honoured and recognised in this way.

"John Charles has been described as a world class centre forward and a world class centre half.

"He was also a true gentleman, who showed terrific respect to everyone.

"A proud Welshman, one of the true greats without doubt."

Alongside Charles on the new stamp collection are Kevin Keegan, Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson, John Barnes, Gordon Banks, Jimmy Greaves, Denis Law, Dave Mackay, Bobby Moore and George Best.

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