Stalybridge Celtic footballer Jake Charles is a chip off the old block

JAKE Charles, grandson of footballing legend John Charles, is looking to rebuild his career at Stalybridge Celtic.

Jake Charles

The 21- year-old striker, who was a professional at Huddersfield Town and Barnsley, has been speaking of his aims after a recent switch to Bower Fold.

Jake said: “There are more and more players who are moving from semi-pro football back into the Football League.

“I am trying to keep my standards as high as possible and to put in good, consistent performances and hopefully it will get me noticed.

“I am also putting in work away from the club, including in the gym, so I am in the best possible shape.”

Jake, who was at professional clubs from the age of nine until this summer, admitted it has been a culture shock at Evo Stik League, premier division level.

He continued: “It is different training two nights each week as I was used to doing so every day.

“But playing here has made me realise there is a bigger picture and players often take it for granted at professional clubs.

“Coming here has made me realise how much I want to get back to that level.”

Jake is also working part time in a pub while studying for a certificate in higher education (sport, fitness and management) at the Open University as back up should he not return to full-time football.

Garforth-based Jake made one first-team appearance for Huddersfield as a substitute in a Championship match against Fulham.

He came through the youth system with Dane Philip Billing who is now a Premier League player.

Jake left Huddersfield for a new challenge at Barnsley last season, though he failed to break into the first team.

He was pursued by Celtic manager Steve Burr who had to be patient as he had trials at various clubs before the move to Bower Fold was sealed.

Jake Charles in action

Through his famous grandfather’s Welsh roots, Jake chose to represent Wales and has been capped at U16, 17, 19 and 21 level.

He says that has been a great adventure getting to play in countries like Estonia, Armenia, Liechtenstein and Portugal.

Jake admitted he has inherited the family’s football gene as he is the third generation to have played professionally.

Grandfather John, known as the ‘Gentle Giant’ as he was never booked, won three Serie A titles with Juventus after joining them for a British record £65,000 in 1957. He helped Wales reach the 1958 World Cup quarter finals.

John’s brother Mel, Jake’s great uncle, appeared for Swansea, Arsenal, Cardiff and Wales, while Mel’s son Jeremy appeared for Swansea and was also capped by Wales at full international level.

Jake said: “I was quite young when granddad passed away, but I have watched videos of him playing.

“I have heard stories about him being a legend for Juve and Leeds and how he would play up front, score a goal and then go and play centre half.

“When I visited him at a young age, my lasting memory was how big he was, even in his old age.”

 

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