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Tributes paid to England World Cup winner who dies aged 87

Tributes have been paid to the much loved England World Cup winner Ron Flowers who dies aged 87, it was confirmed on Friday morning.

A squad member as England lifted the Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley under the guidance of Sir Alf Ramsey, Flowers was rewarded for his efforts with a medal at 10 Downing Street in 2009.

Earning a total of 49 caps between 1955 and 1966, Ron played almost 500 times for Wolves in the league between 1952 and 1967.

There are six former players who were in the 1966 England World Cup squad George Cohen, Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst, Terry Paine, Ian Callaghan and George Eastham who are still alive.

Ron Flowers remembers England's 1966 World Cup win - YouTube

Also lining up for Northampton and Telford, tributes have poured in for the former midfielder from his former clubs and fans.

The official England account said: “We’re saddened to hear of the passing of Ron Flowers MBE at the age of 87.

“He won 49 caps for the #ThreeLions and was a member of our 1966 FIFA World Cup winning squad.

“All of our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

WOLVES STATEMENT:

Wolves are deeply saddened to announce the passing of club legend and vice president Ron Flowers MBE at the age of 87.

The club’s fifth highest appearance holder, Flowers was a star during Wolves’ most successful era, helping the old gold to three First Division titles and the FA Cup during his 15 years at Molineux.

Flowers turned out 515 times for Wolves between 1952 and 1967 and was a member of England’s 1966 World Cup winning squad.

Having previously served in the RAF, Flowers signed from Wolves’ nursey side Wath Wanderers in 1952 and made his debut in the September of that year against Blackpool, beginning a lengthy and legendary career in old gold.

A giant on the pitch and approachable to supporters off it, Flowers possessed fine ability on the ball and ability to carve out chances, which quickly established him as Cullis’ go-to attacking midfielder, forming a formidable partnership with Peter Broadbent.

The duo helped form part of a special Cullis side, which made Wolves champions of England for the first ever time in 1954 and repeated its success in 1958 and 1959 – the club’s only top flights titles to date.

A year later, Flowers was lifting the FA Cup trophy at Wembley, having helped Wolves defeat Blackburn Rovers in the final – one of many significant Wolves matches Flowers featured in, along with the 1954 victory over Honved, when European football was born.

In an England shirt Flowers was just as reliable, earning 49 caps, 40 of which came consecutively between November 1958 and April 1963, claiming a record only bettered by fellow Wolves legend Billy Wright.

The midfielder also had the distinction of scoring England’s first goal at a European Championship, bagging in the qualifying round against France in 1962 – one of six penalties he scored for his country, with two more coming at the 1962 World Cup in Chile.

While Flowers was unused as England lifted the famous trophy four years later, his efforts were rightfully acknowledged in 2009, when all non-playing members of the squad received a deserved medal at 10 Downing Street, bringing great pride to him and his family.

Photo Credit: Wolves

That Wembley success came in the twilight of Flowers’ career and the following year Flowers departed Wolves for Northampton Town, who he player-managed, and then Telford United and Wellington Town, before drawing a close on a brilliant career.

However, the affiliation Flowers and his family had with Wolverhampton extended beyond his playing days, with the former defender opening and running a popular sports shop himself on Queen Street, where it still trades today.

After an incredible career for both Wolves and England, Flowers was handed an FA award for his contribution to the national team in January 2020 and a year later fittingly received his MBE as part of the 2021 New Year Honours list – a truly fitting award.

The thoughts of everyone at Wolves are with Ron’s family and friends at this sad time.

Tributes have been paid to the England World Cup winner Ron Flowers who dies aged 87…

@GerryLamonica: I believe he is the last survivor from the great Wolves sides of the 1950s. Worth recalling that side scored over 100 goals for 4 consecutive seasons, an unprecedented feat. Sad day but the memories remain very great indeed.

@measlewolf: Really sad news. He sounded like a tremendous footballer but also a lovely man in his shop. Condolences to his family.

@Shrewsburywolf: Desperately sad news of the passing of a boyhood hero and a great, great player and an even greater gentleman. RIP Ron.

@whosthedaddy60: RIP Ron. Wolves lifting the FA cup in 1960 is my earliest memory of watching a live football game on TV. I have been a fan of Wolves ever since. Thank you Ron for your service to our great club. Black and gold forever.

@BrunoHadADream: Ron was my first football hero when I was little, desperately sad to hear of his passing. RIP captain 🙏

@kmenzies29: So sad to hear this, he was my mom’s favourite. A wonderful player and a lovely man who always had time for a chat whenever you met him. Thoughts and prayers sent to his family. Rest well, Ron.

@smith_richardj: One of our greatest. Loved visiting his shop with my Dad to get my boots and my cricket gear every year when I was a kid. Lovely man.

@MistaWWFC: Very sad news. Ron part of that wonderful team, led by Billy Wright, that made Wolves a household name in English and world football. He gave so much to Wolves and the city. Like Billy, Ron’s one of the true icons of a bygone era, when football was honest and brilliant! RIP Ron.

@MartyDev: So sad to hear that Ron Flowers has died. He’d retired from football before I was born. Fond childhood memories of being taken to his shop to get all my sports kit for school.

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