Gifted enough to be a member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning squad, he grew up in the coal mining village of Edlington and owed his football prowess to a special pair of boots gifted to him by his parents on Christmas Day in 1939 after they had put money aside each week.
The young player also saw football as a way to escape from a lifetime’s toil as a coal miner – his father worked underground – and enable him to follow his uncle George who played for Doncaster Rovers.
Yet, despite such success for club and country, he never lost touch with his working class roots and it speaks volumes of his character that he regarded his Christmas gift of 1939 as “one of the proudest moments of my life”.
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