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Tributes to ex-Wolves FA Cup star Bill Crook

Walsall | News | Published:

Former Wolves players today led the tributes to the club's 1949 FA Cup winner Bill Crook following his death aged 84 at the weekend.

Former Wolves players today led the tributes to the club's 1949 FA Cup winner Bill Crook following his death aged 84 at the weekend.

Ex-Wolves and England goalkeeper Bert Williams said he was a "100 per cent team man every week".

Alf Crook, who also played for Wolves, said he had fond memories of his brother Bill, who turned out 342 times for the club.

Former midfielder Bill died in the early hours of Sunday morning in hospital in Cheshire, where he lived, following a fall.

He joined Wolves as a 14-year-old in August 1940 after being spotted playing in a local junior league.

Three years later he became a part-time professional at the club, working at the same time as a structural draughtsman with local engineering company Rubery Owen & Co in Darlaston.

Bill was best remembered by fans for playing in the Wolves side that beat Leicester City 3-1 in the FA Cup final on April 30, 1949, at Wembley.

He left Molineux in 1954, joining Walsall before retiring in 1960 at the age of 34 after a spell in non-league football.

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Bert Williams, now aged 91, recalled the happy eight years they were team mates and the close friendship they maintained.

He said: "On the pitch he was a 100 per cent team man every week and a very popular person.

"A typical hard working Wolves man. Bill was affectionately called the 'coroner' because after a match he would sit in the hot bath for ages and go through every aspect of the match.

"We also likened him to a panda for the way he went into a tackle, rolled over and came up on his feat ready for action again."

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Bill's elder brother Alf, who was on the books at Wolves from 1942-1949, added: "Bill and I shared happy brotherly years together playing football and cricket.

"I treasure the memories."

Former Wolves manager Stan Cullis once described Bill as "highly skilled, constructive, technical and a model of precision".

Bill made 121 wartime appearances during the Second World War.He married first wife Joan in 1949 and they had two daughters, Wendy Pearson, 56, and Jayne Lindsell, 58.

They had four grandchildren. Joan died in 1988 and Bill married second wife Betty in 1995. She died in 2005.

She had three daughters from a previous relationship and a number of grandchildren.

Details of Mr Crook's funeral have yet to be announced by his family.

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