Ron Flowers: England 1966 World Cup winner dies aged 87

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England World Cup winner Ron Flowers has died aged 87.

Wolves, where he Flowers was club president and spent almost his entire playing career, announced the news this morning, describing the midfielder as "a giant on the pitch and a gentleman off it".

Flowers was an unused member of the ‘66 squad, although he narrowly missed out on playing the final after being placed on standby the night before when Jack Charlton felt unwell.

He nonetheless represented England with distinction, winning 49 caps and scoring ten goals, and appearing in 40 consecutive international matches from November 1958 until April 1963 – a run only bettered by fellow Wolves legend Billy Wright.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

His death follows the losses of Roger Hunt and Jimmy Greaves earlier this year, leaving just three of the starting XI from the win over West Germany are still alive, in George Cohen, Sir. Bobby Charlton and Sir. Geoff Hurst.

Ian Callaghan, George Eastham and Terry Paine are the other surviving members of Alf Ramsey’s 22-man squad.

Tributes will be paid to Flowers ahead of England’s World Cup qualifier against Albania at a sold-out Wembley tonight, where there will be a minute’s silence and the last post before the game as part of Remembrance Day celebrations.

Having served in the RAF, Flowers joined Wolves in 1952 and made 515 appearances until 1967, helping the Midlands club to three First Division titles and the FA Cup in their most successful period.

After retirement, he opened a sports shop in Wolverhampton, which still trades today.

 (PA)
(PA)

His efforts as part of the ‘66 squad were acknowledged in 2009 when he finally received a winners’ medal at 10 Downing Street and he was awarded an MBE in this year’s New Year’s honours list.

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