Football

Frank Worthington, former England forward, dies aged 72


The former England forward Frank Worthington has died at the age of 72 after a long illness, his family have said.

Worthington played for more than 20 clubs including Huddersfield, Leicester and Bolton during a long career that stretched from 1966 to 1991.

One of English football’s great mavericks, he made his England appearances in 1974, scoring two goals. His family said he died peacefully in hospital in Huddersfield on Monday.

Worthington is well remembered for his wonderful individual goal for Bolton in a Division One match against Ipswich in 1979.

Worthington’s wife Carol paid tribute to the much-loved football showman. “Frank brought joy to so many people throughout his career and in his private life,” she said. “He will be greatly missed by everyone who loved him so much.”

Worthington started his career at Huddersfield before moving to Leicester in 1972. He went on to play in the US, Sweden, South Africa, the Republic of Ireland and Wales as well as for numerous league and non-league clubs in England.

After his playing career he had a spell as manager of Tranmere and became an after-dinner speaker. Worthington also released an autobiography, One Hump or Two, which contained entertaining accounts from his playing days, as well as stories about his life off the pitch.

Unashamedly non-establishment, Worthington hit the headlines as much for his off-field exploits as his rarefied talents on it.

Frank Worthington in action for England against Northern Ireland in May 1974, in what proved his final international appearance.
Frank Worthington in action for England against Northern Ireland in May 1974, in what proved his final international appearance. Photograph: Colorsport/REX/Shutterstock

Once described by the former Huddersfield and Bolton manager Ian Greaves as “the working man’s George Best”, Worthington played in 22 consecutive Football League seasons from 1966-67, scoring 266 goals in 882 appearances in all competitions.

In 14 of those seasons he played in the top division, getting 150 goals in 466 matches, and won the Golden Boot in 1978-79 as the leading scorer ahead of Kenny Dalglish and Frank Stapleton.

In 2016 he denied claims by his daughter Kim-Malou Worthington that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.



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