Former England players among mourners at funeral of 1966 World Cup winner Ray Wilson

The coffin of 1966 World Cup winner Ray Wilson arrives at Huddersfield Crematorium (Danny Lawson/PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Former England football players were among those to pay their respects to World Cup winner Ray Wilson during his emotional funeral service.

Wilson is remembered for being part of the national team that beat West Germany 4-2 at Wembley to win the World Cup in 1966.

The former left-back died on May 15, aged 83, following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Tributes were paid to Wilson during a service at Huddersfield Crematorium on Wednesday, which saw fellow 1966 stars Sir Bobby Charlton, his brother Jack Charlton, Sir Geoff Hurst and Norman Hunter among the well-wishers.

Sir Bobby Charlton Credit: PA
Jack Charlton

The MBE’s family asked for mourners to make donations to the Alzheimer’s Society in lieu of flowers.

Wilson was born in Derbyshire and made 283 appearances for Huddersfield Town between 1952 and 1964, before playing a further 154 games for Everton, with whom he won the FA Cup in 1966.

He went on to play for Oldham Athletic and Bradford City.

After he retired from the game he ran an undertakers, keeping a lower media profile than his England team-mates, and lived in Slaithwaite near Huddersfield.

Norman Hunter, who was part of the 1966 squad. Credit: PA

He made 63 appearances for his country, and was the side’s oldest player in the World Cup Final win.

He and his widow Pat had two sons.

Describing Wilson as a “smashing guy”, his former team-mate and England goalkeeper Gordon Banks said: “He loved a joke and a laugh and that helped in the dressing room for an international match when you were feeling tight.

“He’d crack a joke or make fun out of something and that would help you to relax, which was so good.”

The order of service for the funeral.

“There are not too many people about like Ray, if you know what I mean. He really was a lovely guy and a super footballer as well.”

Echoing Banks’ sentiments, former Leeds United defender Norman Hunter, who was also part of the 1966 team, said: “Ray probably wasn’t as recognised as the other lads, Geoff, Bobby, Bally (Alan Ball) and people like that.

“But as a team-mate you looked at that team sheet and you were very, very happy to have the name Ray Wilson at left-back.”

Jack Charlton, another member of the World Cup-winning England side, described Wilson as a “terrific full-back”.

He added: “He was always a friend of mine when I came around this area, he was a good lad.”