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Wolves lead tributes to former midfielder Ron Flowers following his death at 87

New Year’s Honours list 2021
(Image credit: John Ferguson/Daily Mirror)

Former Wolves and England midfielder Ron Flowers, a member of the 1966 World Cup-winning squad, has died at the age of 87.

Flowers made 515 appearances for the Black Country club during a golden era in which they won three First Division titles in the 1950s and the FA Cup in 1960. He earned 49 caps for England during a career which also included a spell as player-manager at Northampton.

His death was announced by Wolves on Friday morning.

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A statement on the club’s 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.”

Flowers was born in Doncaster and joined Wolves as a teenager from their development side Wath Wanderers. He made his first-team debut at the age of 18 in 1952 and soon established himself as a key creative player in Stan Cullis’ side.

Ron Flowers

Ron Flowers, right, played 49 times for England (PA)

He made his England debut against France in 1955 and went on to play and score at the 1962 World Cup in Chile. Forty of his caps were won in consecutive international matches between November 1958 and April 1963.

He also holds the distinction of being the first England player to score in a European Championship match having netted from the penalty spot in a qualifier against France in 1962.

He was unused as Sir Alf Ramsey’s men became world champions on home soil in 1966 but did receive a World Cup-winner’s medal at Downing Street in 2009. Initially, only those on the field at the final whistle initially got one.

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A tweet from the Football Association read: “We are saddened to hear about the passing of former England international, 1966 World Cup winner and FA Cup winner Ron Flowers MBE at the age of 87. Rest in peace, Ron.”

Flowers left Wolves in 1967 and remains fifth on the club’s all-time appearances list. He moved to Third Division Northampton, for whom he made 62 appearances and served as player-manager from 1968-69.

He later played for and managed Wellington Town – which became Telford United – and guided the club to FA Trophy success in 1971. He returned to Wolverhampton after his career ended to set up and run a sports shop.

Flowers was awarded an MBE in the 2021 New Year Honours List for services to football.