RAY WILSON, part of the England team that won the World Cup in 1966, has died at the age of 83.
The former Huddersfield Town and Everton full-back passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Wilson made almost 500 appearances in a 19-year career but it is the glorious afternoon of July 30, 1966, that he will be best remembered for as England beat West Germany at Wembley to lift the World Cup.
It was Wilson’s second World Cup, the left-back having played in all four England matches during the 1962 finals in Chile when still at Huddersfield. He moved to Goodison Park in 1964. In total, Wilson won 63 England caps.
Born in Derbyshire, Wilson had an unusual route into football. He left school to become an apprentice railwayman before being scouted by Huddersfield Town.
Billy Shankly was the club’s manager who offered Wilson his first contract on completion of a two-year National Service stint.
As a full-back, he spent 12 years at Leeds Road and made 283 appearances for the club. Wilson joined Everton in 1964 for a £40,000 fee that represented a record at the time for a full-back.
Two years later, Wilson was part of the England team that lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy at Wembley.
He featured in arguably the most famous photograph in English football history, as victorious captain Bobby Moore was held up by his team-mates on the Wembley pitch. Moore, holding the trophy aloft, was sitting on the shoulders of Wilson and hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst.
After making 116 appearances for Everton, he joined Oldham Athletic in 1969. Bradford City were Wilson’s final club.
Following retirement from the game, Wilson became an undertaker. He built his own business and, in 2000, was awarded the MBE for services to football alongside Roger Hunt, George Cohen, Nobby Stiles and Alan Ball.
Huddersfield wore a special shirt in honour of Wilson during the 2016-17 season, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the World Cup win. The shirt, red in a nod to the kit worn at Wembley by Sir Alf Ramsey’s side, featured Wilson’s signature under the club badge.
Town also held a ‘Ray Wilson Day’ at their penultimate home game in the Premier League, when Everton were the visitors.