Ray Wilson, a World Cup winner with England in 1966, has died aged 83, his former clubs Huddersfield and Everton have announced.
Wilson had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2004.
“Huddersfield Town is devastated to learn of the passing of World Cup winner Ramon ‘Ray’ Wilson MBE at the age of 83,” read a club statement.
“Ray is arguably the most successful and best-known player ever to pull on a Huddersfield Town shirt, having been a key member of England’s World Cup-winning team in 1966.”
Wilson made his England debut in 1960 and went on to win 63 caps for his country, 30 of those as a Huddersfield player.
He joined Everton in 1964 and reached the pinnacle of his career in the summer of 1966 as part of Sir Alf Ramsey’s England team which beat West Germany in the World Cup final at Wembley.
“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, who remains Huddersfield’s most-capped England player, made 283 appearances for the club between 1952 and 1964 and a further 154 for Everton before he joined Oldham in 1969.
“Everton Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ray Wilson,” read a statement on their official website.
“Unquestionably one of the finest footballers to wear the royal blue jersey, Ray passed away on Tuesday evening, aged 83, at The Bell House care home in Huddersfield.
“The thoughts of everybody at Everton Football Club are with Ray’s wife Pat, sons Russell and Neil, and all of his family and friends.
“Wilson’s status as a Goodison Park great was underlined when he was named Everton Giant for 2002.”
Wilson featured in a formidable back four for Ramsey’s England when they became world champions in 1966, lining up at left-back alongside fellow defenders Bobby Moore, Jack Charlton and George Cohen.
Captain Moore, who died of cancer in 1993, was a big admirer of his former team-mate.
“It was a comfort to play alongside him,” Moore once said. “He was a fiery little fellow, who would stand up to all the pressure. He always looked good.”
Former Everton team-mate Joe Royle described Wilson, who also won the FA Cup with the Merseyside club in 1966, as a “maestro” and the “best of his kind at the time”.
“He is a World Cup winner and played in the last England team that had four, maybe five, world class players – and he was certainly one of those,” Royle said. “And he was a top guy, always there with a smile or a helpful word.”