Ray Wilson dead aged 83: England 1966 World Cup-winning legend died on Tuesday

The defender, who played all six matches at the tournament in 1966 including the final victory over West Germany at Wembley to clinch the Jules Rimet trophy, passed away on Tuesday evening at The Bell House care home in Huddersfield.

Wilson, who won 63 caps for his country, earned iconic status at both Huddersfield Town and Everton throughout his distinguished career.

A statement from the Terriers said: “Huddersfield Town is devastated to learn of the passing of World Cup winner Ramon ‘Ray’ Wilson MBE at the age of 83.

“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.

“He made 283 appearances for the club between 1952 and 1964, scoring six goals, and is still Town’s most capped England player ever, representing his country 30 times as a Huddersfield player.

“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.

“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.”

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After spending 12 years with the Terriers he left to join Everton in 1964.

But two years later would undoubtedly prove to be the absolute pinnacle of his career.

The left-back won the FA Cup with the Toffees just weeks before going on to win the ultimate accolade with his country.

Unfortunately for Wilson he would suffer a number of injuries in the years that followed and he was granted a free transfer to Oldham Athletic in 1969.

He played 25 times for the Latics before going on to join Bradford City 12 months later – taking caretaker charge of the team briefly also – but retired in 1971.

After his playing days Wilson set up his own undertakers business in Outlane, a village on the outskirts of Huddersfield.

He was appointed an MBE for his services to football in 2000 and he and wife Pat celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary in December.

The FA, who discovered the news at the same time as Gareth Southgate was announcing his World Cup squad, said on Twitter: “We are shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of World Cup winner Ray Wilson. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Fellow England legend Gary Lineker wrote: “Sorry to hear that Ray Wilson has passed away. One of our very few World Cup winners.”

And Jimmy Greaves, another member of the 1966 World Cup-winning squad, wrote: “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.”


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