BREAKING NEWS: Oldest member of England’s 1966 World Cup winning squad and Wolves legend Ron Flowers dies aged 87 as Premier League club pays tribute to ‘giant on the pitch and gentleman off it’
Ron Flowers, England’s oldest member of the 1966 World Cup-winning squad and Wolves legend, has died at the age of 87.
Flowers played for the Black Country club between 1952 and 1967 and helped them to three First Division titles and the FA Cup in 1960.
He played 49 times for England and featured in 40 consecutive international matches between November 1958 and April 1963, which included the 1962 World Cup in Chile.
Flowers was the oldest member of Sir Alf Ramsay’s squad, aged 31 when England triumphed at Wembley.
A statement on the club’s official Twitter feed read: ‘We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of club legend and vice president Ron Flowers MBE at the age of 87.
‘A giant on the pitch and a gentleman off it. There will be many people remembering Ron today and all of our thoughts are with those who knew and loved him.’
England 1966 World Cup member and Wolves legend Ron Flowers has died at the age of 87
The midfielder was part of the legendary squad that won the World Cup 55 years ago
Flowers (left) was the oldest member of England’s 1966 squad at the age of 31 years old
Flowers played 49 times for England and featured in 40 consecutive international games
Flowers (right) did not kick a ball in the 1966 tournament but came close to playing in the final
In 2009, Flowers (right) received his World Cup winners’ medal following an FA campaign
The Englishman (left) played 515 times for Wolves, the fifth-most appearances for the club
Flowers played 515 times for Wolves, placing him fifth on their all-time appearances list.
He joined from Wath Wanderers, a Wolves nursery club, and established himself as a key creative player in the side managed by Stan Cullis.
Flowers never kicked a ball during the 1966 tournament, but he narrowly missed out on playing in the final itself, a 4-2 win over West Germany at Wembley Stadium.
Jack Charlton, who was due to play, caught a cold on the eve of the final and Flowers was approached by manager Ramsey the night before the game and was informed that he would play if Charlton had not recovered by the morning.
That Wembley success came in the twilight of his career but he played in the 1962 World Cup
Flowers won the first division three times and the FA Cup once during his time at Molineux
Flowers (right) pictured in 1955 after being called up to Walter Winterbottom’s England side
Flowers (left) pictured with Wolves team-mates Eddie Clam (centre) and Gerry Harris (right)
Flowers (centre) maintained a close affiliation with Wolves, where he was club vice president
A sleepless night followed, but it turned out Charlton was fine by the morning and Flowers did not feature in the final.
Following the 1966 triumph, only the 11 players that ended the game received winners’ medals, but Flowers finally got his medal following an FA campaign and was awarded it by Gordon Brown in 2009.
Flowers’ Wembley success came in the twilight of his career and the following year he left Wolves for Northampton Town, where he player-managed, before departing for Telford United and Wellington Town. He retired in 1971.
He holds close connections with the city of Wolverhampton and opened a sports shop in the town centre in his post-playing days, which still trades today.
Flowers’ death follows the passing of Liverpool legend and 1966 team-mate Roger Hunt, who died in September this year.
More to follow.