One of Wolves’ greatest-ever players, Peter Broadbent, died today at the age of 80.
The former inside forward, recognised as the most skilful player in the club’s greatest team, died peacefully at 2am at Beech House nursing home at Himley.
Mr Broadbent had been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease for many years, but had been cared for by staff at the home.
His devoted wife Shirley had visited him at the home every day, despite his deteriorating condition.
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Wolves said today: “It was with great sadness that the club heard of the death of Peter Broadbent – a man regarded by many as the greatest ever to don the old gold and black.
“To Peter’s charming wife Shirley, and the rest of his family, the club offers its deepest sympathy.”
Mr Broadbent, who was one of the first inductees into the Wolves Hall of Fame, is ranked alongside such legends as Bert Williams, Billy Wright, Ron Flowers and Bill Slater as one of the club’s greatest players of all time.
He was part of Stan Cullis’ all-conquering team that won the Football League title three times, in 1954, 1958 and 1959 and the FA Cup in 1960. The side captured the nation’s hearts in the 1950s after embarking on a series of trailblazing European floodlit friendlies against the best teams in the world, in what were a forerunner of what is now the Champion’s League.
Part of England’s 1958 World Cup squad, Dover-born Mr Broadbent, who also scored Wolves’ first goal in Europe, netted 145 times in 497 games after arriving as a club-record signing from Brentford for £10,000 in 1951.
Mr Broadbent was known for his legendary body swerve which bamboozled opponents and entranced fans at a time when Wolves were recognised as the greatest team in the country.
Peter Broadbent is inducted into the Wolves hall of fame
Leaving Wolves in 1965, he joined Shrewsbury Town and also played for Aston Villa, Stockport County and Bromsgrove Rovers before hanging up his boots.
After his football career, the Broadbents ran a greengrocers in Halesowen and settled in Codsall, where they lived for many years. Son Gary is a professional golfer.
Mr Broadbent is the third former prominent Wolves player to have died in recent weeks after Dave Wagstaffe and Barry Stobart.
The Football Association tweeted this afternoon:
The FA is sorry to hear of the passing of former England international Peter Broadbent who died this morning aged 80: http://t.co/TGY65ScrSz— The FA (@FA) October 1, 2013
Malcolm Finlayson, who was goalkeeper of the great 1950s Wolves team and won two league titles and the FA Cup in 1960, all in the same team as Broadbent, paid tribute to his former team-mate.
“It’s very sad,” said Mr Finlayson, aged 83. “What’s sad about it is he was such a great player and that Wolves side was such a great team and to be honest, those players have never been replaced.
“He is irreplaceable. He had no weakness at all. He’d got this silky movement and ball control and was a great player. You could compare him to the other great players at other clubs, but he was better than most of them.”
Wolves legend and England World Cup winner Ron Flowers remembered him as a club-record £10,000 signing when they both arrived at Molineux in 1951. “I remember Peter being a big signing for the club then,” said Mr Flowers. “He was very much the boy wonder when he arrived. He was a huge signing and a very gifted player.”
Former Wolves boss Graham Turner, who now manages Shrewsbury Town, said: “I can remember going to Molineux to the Hall Of Fame dinner – both of us were elected there on the same night. His wife was there to collect it, he was unwell. But they did a link with Sir Alex Ferguson on video and he was saying that when he was growing up Peter Broadbent was his favourite player.”
Mr Broadbent leaves wife Shirley, 78, son Gary, 53, daughter Debbie, 56, four grandchildren and one great grand-daughter.
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