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World Cup hero and ex-Athletic defender Wilson dies

Date published: 16 May 2018


Tributes have been paid to former England and Athletic footballer Ray Wilson, whose died at the age of 83.

The defender formed part of the 1966 England World Cup squad who won the trophy for the only time in the country’s history after they beat West Germany 4-2 after extra time at Wembley Stadium.

Wilson, who was born in Shirebrook, Derbyshire in 1934, made his professional debut for Huddersfield Town where he would go on to make 266 appearances for the Yorkshire club, scoring six goals.

He then moved onto Everton in 1964, pulling on the Toffees shirt 116 times without finding the back of the net.

It was during his time with the Terriers and Everton when he caught the eye of the national side, gaining his first cap in 1960, eventually playing for eight years and collecting 63 caps in total.

After leaving Everton in 1969 Wilson moved to Boundary Park where he spent one season, making 25 appearances before finishing his career at Bradford City.

He would remain at Valley Parade until 1971 when he retired from playing and took up the role of manager.

But it was with England where he made his name, making his debut in a 1-1 draw against Scotland before cementing himself in Sir Alf Ramsey’s side in the run up to the World Cup.

He was the oldest member of the team in 1966, but it was his weak header which fell to Helmut Haller to give the West German’s the lead before Sir Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick to help England claim the victory.

At the time of his retirement Wilson held the record for the most caps by an England player without scoring a goal, until Gary Neville and Ashley Cole broke that record.


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