Ex-Walsall and Wolves player Bill Guttridge dies at age 82

Former Walsall captain and Wolves player Bill ‘Chopper’ Guttridge has died aged 82.

Bill Guttridge
Bill Guttridge

The father-of-two died on Saturday at Walsall Manor Hospital, as the Banks’s Stadium club marked its 125th anniversary. He had been suffering ill health for several years.

The grandfather-of-four had Parkinson’s Disease and had bouts of pneumonia.

Mr Guttridge captained Walsall to successive promotions after joining from Wolves in 1954.

He leaves daughters Christine, 58, who lives in Bloxwich, and Karen, 47, from Great Wyrley. Mr Guttridge was widowed in 2008 when Margaret, his wife of 53 years, died of a heart attack at the age of 75.

Grandson Elliot, aged nine, and Lucas, who is eight, play football for the academies at Wolves and Walsall respectively.

Bill was about to move to Swan House residential home in Short Heath before he passed away on his great-grandson Alfie Meath’s first birthday.

Daughter Karen Tibbs today paid tribute to her father. She said: “I remember him as a high-spirited, determined man.

“He always pushed all the family to enjoy life and we all have, to the full.

“He was a massive inspiration and he is a massive loss. We have some fabulous memories of holidays and took dad to Spain in the last couple of years.”

Darlaston-born Mr Guttridge, who played as a left-back, worked and played for Metroshaft Works before joining Wolves as an amateur in 1947. Turning professional in 1948, he spent six years at Molineux, making seven first-team appearances.

He moved to Walsall in 1954 and became a huge hit, captaining the team to successive promotions as the Saddlers climbed from Division Four to Division Two between 1959 and 1961.

After making 210 appearances for the Saddlers, a cartilage injury forced his retirement at the age of 31 in 1962 but he remained in football, coaching youngsters at Walsall in a total of 13 years at Fellows Park before later managing Darlaston and Macclesfield.

Following his retirement from football, Bill worked for Service Work Appliances in Darlaston for 30 years as a shop steward in the washing machine paint spraying department.

Comments for: "Ex-Walsall and Wolves player Bill Guttridge dies at age 82"

Paul Terry

To all Walsall FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC fans of the 50's & 60's The legendary Bill"Chopper"Guttridge not only a good left half but a great man for those who had the pleasure of ever watching him or meeting him. God Bless Chopper glad I knew you and not played against you. Best Wishes to all his family.

Wombourne wolves

I remember "Chopper" very well! He was a real tough guy, no surrender was his game. Not a classy player but I am sure winger's did not like playing against him. We could do with the like's of him now at left back.

Sleep well "Chopper" thank's for the memories.b

John Tibbs

Bill I am proud to have known you personally over the last twelve years and to have had you as my father-in-law. I will always recall your story of when you made your debut at Villa Park and the many tales you told about life under Stan Cullis. I was too young to remember you as a player but I do know that everywhere I go all of the older generation regarded you as a legend reknowned for your no nonsense approach to putting the opposing wingers into the first row of the stand regardless of their reputations. We are all so proud of you and I know you loved all of your children and I hope that my sons Elliot and Lucas can one day go on to achieve even half of what you did. I know now that you are at peace and reunited with Margaret who we all loved so much. I will miss the banter between us and I will forever remember your speech when you said you could never understand how you ended up with two son-in-laws who were both Albion fans. Football was your life and now watching from above I think you need to pass on some of that fighting spirit to both Wolves and Walsall as I am sure some of your last wishes would be to see Wolves avoid relegation and to see Walsall gain promotion. God Bless you Bill.

Petestenny

My memory of Chopper was that of a 1st division footballer playing at Molineux on a Saturday afternoon then having a game with us kids in Bentley on a Sunday morning. One kid learned hard way that you didn't nutmeg Chopper! RIP Ledge

M

Bill Gutteridge could have invented the word committment. That man gave his all on the football field and will never be forgotten by those who saw him play. He was a genuine,fearless hard man of football - and much loved by Saddlers fans for it. RIP Chopper.

Jan Roberts

RIP Chopper. I had the pleasure of meeting this true gentleman in the Manor a couple of years ago when he was in the same ward as my late uncle Bill who was also a Parkisons sufferer. He was a delightful man and we had lots of chats about his family and career.

Ken Hodgkisson

I'm disappointed that I did not get to see him in the later years for his life. I tried to make contact with him but I was unable to. I thought Bill was our best home and away player. Some years ago I was offered to buy a van but I could not get the money quick enough my self. Bill came the next day after over hearing my conversation, then as I got changed there was an envelope with the amount of money required to but the van. But there by a great friend Bill, Bill who I had a lot of respect for.