LONDON: Bert Williams, England’s goalkeeper in their infamous 1-0 defeat by the United States at the 1950 World Cup, has died at 93.
In 2010, Williams said the hurt of the defeat “will never go away”. His death means that Sir Tom Finney and Roy Bentley are the only survivors from the side that lost at Belo Horizonte – where England will play Costa Rica this coming June.
Williams joined Wolverhampton Wanderers from neighbouring Walsall after the Second World War and went on to make 420 appearances for the club.
He won the FA Cup in 1949 and the Division One title in 1954 during a 14-season spell at Molineux.
Williams won 24 caps for England and was the oldest living England international prior to his death. He received an MBE for services to football and charity in the Queen’s Birthday honours list in June 2010.
Williams was involved in several fundraising campaigns for the Alzheimer’s Society after his wife Evelyn died from the illness in 2002.
Wolves chairman Steve Morgan described Williams as “a fantastic footballer” and “a true gentleman who loved Wolves”.
Morgan said: “As a young football fan who used to read about the achievements of that all-conquering Wolves team of the 1950s, it was an honour and a privilege to have been able to meet Bert on so many occasions since I arrived at the club in 2007.
“His footballing ability speaks for itself, but there was so much more to Bert than just his career alone. He remained heavily involved with Wolves and the community after his retirement, and the fundraising he has carried out since losing his wife was incredible when you consider his advancing years.
“Legend is a word which may be overused these days, but in the case of Bert Williams it simply doesn’t do him justice. He will be sadly missed at Molineux, but will never, ever be forgotten.”
Williams made 381 league appearances for Wolves and also featured in many of the pioneering floodlit games at Molineux against top European club sides such as Real Madrid and Honved in the 1950s.