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Sunday 22 September 2019

England's 1966 World Cup-winning left-back Ray Wilson has died aged 83

(l-r) England's George Cohen, Bobby Moore, Jack Charlton and Ray Wilson (with trophy) celebrate after winning the World Cup in 1966
(l-r) England's George Cohen, Bobby Moore, Jack Charlton and Ray Wilson (with trophy) celebrate after winning the World Cup in 1966

Mark Walker

Ray Wilson, a World Cup winner with England in 1966, has died aged 83, former clubs Huddersfield and Everton have announced. Wilson had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2004.

"Huddersfield Town is devastated to learn of the passing of World Cup winner Ramon 'Ray' Wilson MBE at the age of 83," read a club statement.

"Ray is arguably the most successful and best-known player ever to pull on a Huddersfield Town shirt, having been a key member of England's World Cup-winning team in 1966."

Wilson made his England debut in 1960 and went on to win 63 caps for his country, 30 of those as a Huddersfield player.

He joined Everton in 1964 and reached the pinnacle of his career in the summer of 1966 as part of Sir Alf Ramsey's England team which beat West Germany in the World Cup final at Wembley.

"Until very recently, he was a regular supporter of the Terriers at home match days alongside his eldest son Russell despite battling Alzheimer's disease, which he was diagnosed with in 2004," Huddersfield's statement said.

"The thoughts of everyone at Huddersfield Town are with Ray's wife Pat, his sons Russ and Neil and the rest of his family and friends at this difficult time."

verton were "deeply saddened" by the news of Wilson's death, with the club describing him as "unquestionably one of the finest footballers to wear the royal blue jersey".

Wilson's death was announced as England boss Gareth Southgate named his squad for this summer's World Cup.

Those players will bid to emulate the great 1966 side when they travel to Russia next month.

Former England striker Gary Lineker wrote on Twitter: "Sorry to hear that Ray Wilson has passed away. One of our very few World Cup winners. #RIP"

Peter Shilton, who first came into the England team in 1970, two years after Wilson won his last cap, said on Sky Sports News: "Football was his life and that's all that concerned him really. He wanted a great career and it was great to hear he did go to Huddersfield regularly in recent years."

The Football Association added: "We are shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of World Cup winner Ray Wilson. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."

Jimmy Greaves, who was also a member of England's 1966 World Cup squad, relayed fond memories of Wilson.

In a message on his Twitter page, Greaves said: "RIP RAY WILSON We had some laughs and some very late nights through the years and even with your illness you carried on coming with us and keeping us on our toes until about six years ago. In many peoples eyes the best English left back ever. Goodbye old friend"

Online Editors

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