LONDON: Ray Wilson, a fixture at leftback in the England team who won the 1966 World Cup, has died at 83.

Wilson won 63 caps and made 283 appearances for Huddersfield Town between 1952 and 1964, before a five-year spell with Everton, with whom he won the FA Cup.

A statement from Huddersfield said: “Ray is arguably the most successful and best-known player ever to pull on a Huddersfield Town shirt. 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.”
Wilson was born in Shirebrook on 17 December 1934, and was given the name Ramon, in tribute to Mexican Hollywood actor Ramon Novarro.

He joined Huddersfield at the age of 17 in 1952, having previously worked on the railways. Wilson played in a forward role and in central defence before trying his hand at left-back, where he was advised to remain by reserve-team coach Bill Shankly. It was when Liverpool’s legendary manager took charge of the first team in 1956 that the defender’s career flourished.

Wilson went on to win the first of his 63 England caps in 1960 when he featured in the 1-1 draw against Scotland. He remains the last Terrier to play at a World Cup while at the club, having played at the 1962 tournament.

After 283 appearances Wilson joined Everton in 1964. Silverware came in a memorable 1966 when Wilson helped the Toffees beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-2 in the FA Cup final before helping England to World Cup success a few weeks later.

The defender played 154 matches for the Merseyside club before joining Oldham in 1969. He finished his career in 1971 at Bradford, a team he also managed for just 10 games.

Wilson, who went on to open an undertaker business in Huddersfield, was appointed an MBE in 2000.