England’s 1966 World Cup-winning left-back Ray Wilson has died at the age of 83, his former clubs Huddersfield and Everton have announced.
Wilson was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2004 and died on Tuesday evening.
“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 was part of the Everton team that won the FA Cup, also in 1966, having moved to Goodison Park two years earlier. In total he played 154 matches for the Merseyside club before his departure to Oldham Athletic in 1969.
“Ray led the onset of a new breed of full-backs,” said Joe Royle, a former Goodison team-mate of Wilson’s. “Prior to Ray, they had all been sentinels, big, tall lads. Maybe third centre-backs, rather than full-backs.
“He is a World Cup winner and played in the last England team that had four, maybe five, world class players … and he was certainly one of those. He was the best of his kind at the time. And he was a top guy, always there with a smile or a helpful word. I played a few reserve games with Ray and it was like listening to a maestro. He knew his stuff.”