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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 March, 2004, 09:53 GMT
Swansea service for John Charles
John Charles in action for Juventus
John Charles in action for Juventus
Wales' football legend John Charles is to be honoured during a national memorial service in his home city of Swansea.

Charles, dubbed the 'Gentle Giant', died last month aged 72 after falling ill in Italy.

His funeral took place in Leeds on St David's Day, but there have been calls for a service to remember him in his home country.

It has now been revealed that a service will take place in April. It is expected to be attended by some of the most famous names in football, including Charles' former team-mates from the 1958 World Cup.

Several leading guests have been invited to honour the ex-Wales and Juventus star, including First Minister Rhodri Morgan.

Charles's widow, Glenda, will present her late husband's ashes to the city of Swansea.

She described him as a "fiercely proud" Welshman.

"I want his final resting place to be at home in Swansea," she said.

"I am honoured that the city of Swansea is hosting the national memorial service to celebrate John's life.

"It will be a fitting tribute and offer many people the chance to attend and remember John."

There are also plans for a statue of the 6ft 2ins star to be erected at the 24m White Rock Stadium, the new home of football and rugby in Swansea.

Lawrence Bailey, Lord Mayor of Swansea, described Charles as one of Swansea's most famous sons.

"The city is honoured to stage the national memorial service for John Charles," he said.

"He was loved and respected wherever he went. He was also a proud Welshman and proud of his Swansea roots.

"It is fitting that Swansea, where John was born and began and ended his career, will host this celebration of his life."

The ceremony will take place at Swansea's Brangwyn Hall on Monday 19 April at 1430 GMT.

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01 Mar 04  |  Football
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23 Feb 04  |  South West Wales
Your tributes to John Charles
23 Feb 04  |  South West Wales
Fans call for memorial to legend
23 Feb 04  |  West Yorkshire
Wales remembers national hero
21 Feb 04  |  South West Wales
Exhibition tribute to Charles
21 Feb 04  |  North West Wales
John Charles dies
21 Feb 04  |  Football



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