Bill Slater dead at 91: Wolves lead tributes to club legend and ex-England star after he passes away
He made 339 appearances for the Molineux club in the 1950s and 1960s, represented England 12 times and played for Great Britain at the 1952 Olympics.
Slater was the last player to lift the FA Cup for the Black Country side, captaining them to a 3-0 victory over Blackburn at Wembley in 1960.
As well as guiding Wolves to the FA Cup, he also helped them to their three top-flight titles in 1954, 1958 and 1959.
He was named Football Writers' Footballer of the Year in 1960 despite being part-time – the only player to achieve the feat – and obtained a BSc degree in the same calendar year.
Slater's 11-year spell in the West Midlands started in the best possible fashion as the half-back was part of the side that thumped Manchester United 6-2 in 1952.
Slater came through the ranks at Blackpool and appeared in the 1951 Cup final alongside Stanley Matthews as they were beaten 2-0 by Newcastle.
He moved to Brentford in 1951 for a season before joining Wolves but 25 goals later he returned to West London to finish his 20-year career in 1964.
After hanging up his boots, the Clitheroe-born player worked at Crystal Palace Sports Centre as well as Liverpool and Birmingham University.
He then went on to become president of the British Gymnastics Association and was appointed to the National Olympic Committee.
Slater – who had four children and eight grandchildren – was awarded an OBE in 1982, a CBE in 1998 and was included in Wolves' Hall of Fame in 2010.
The club said: "Slater captured the hearts of Wolves supporters during the club’s most successful period and he will be remembered with great fondness by many people in the city and beyond.
"The thoughts of everyone at Wolves are with Bill’s family and friends at this sad time."
Ted Farmer was a team-mate of Slater's in the early 1960s and paid tribute.
He told the Express and Star: "Bill was a great man and footballer. He was a good friend of mine. I always remember him for being a gentleman, he was never hurly burly and involved in the rough stuff of football that went on everywhere.
"He was a cultured player. I remember Bobby Smith at Tottenham Hotspur fractured his ribs, but Bill never retaliated.
"He always played a cultured game. He was such a nice guy, we wondered what he was doing in football in those days.
"He will be sadly missed for all kinds of reasons. I remember his quietness in the dressing room. He wasn't an authoritative man but his authority came from his gentleness."
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