London (AFP) – Ray Wilson, a member of the England team that beat West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final, has died aged 83, former club Everton announced.
An outstanding left-back, Wilson won 63 caps with 1966 a memorable year for him as he won the FA Cup with Everton at Wembley and a few weeks later the World Cup as hosts England beat West Germany 4-2 at the same stadium.
“Everton Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ray Wilson,” read a statement on the club website.
“Unquestionably one of the finest footballers to wear the royal blue jersey, Ray passed away on Tuesday evening, aged 83.”
Wilson, married for 61 years to Pat who survives him and father of two boys Russell and Neil, never lost his love for Everton whom he joined in 1964.
“He loved it at Goodison, absolutely loved it,” Pat said last year.
“He still does. If they are on television, that is it. He sits there and watches it, transfixed.”
Wilson was revered by both Everton and his first club Huddersfield and he was honoured in April this year when their Premier League clash was officially designated Ray Wilson Day.
Wilson played almost 300 matches for Huddersfield having been signed by former Liverpool managerial legend Bill Shankly in 1955. He moved to Merseyside in 1964.
Even before he had a trial with the Yorkshire club, Everton had their eyes on him.
“I got a letter from Everton offering me a deal but I felt loyal to Huddersfield,” he said years later.
“But I remember looking around Goodison properly for the first time after I had joined and thought to myself, ‘My word, what have I been missing out on all these years, I should have been here years ago.’”
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