While most Englishmen dream of winning the World Cup but Huddersfield Town legend Ray Wilson doesn’t have to.
He is one of only 11 who have ever actually been there and done that.
Sadly, due to Alzheimer’s, he can’t dine out on the memories, writes the Daily Mirror.
The left-back, now 81, doesn’t recall the glory of that June day 50 years ago when pal Bobby Moore held the Jules Rimet trophy aloft at Wembley.
He played for Huddersfield Town for 12 years and appeared 266 times scoring six goals before moving to Everton in 1964.
He has spent the last 12 years living with the condition but it doesn’t get him down, he still wakes up every morning singing Sinatra songs.
And though he never used to so much as doodle, he has discovered an amazing artistic talent within himself - and his romantic side.
All day long he sits at the kitchen table drawing happy “incredible” pictures which his proud wife Pat, 78, then puts on their living room wall.
“I love them but they are weird,” she says. “They are all pen drawings and most of them are happy. I can tell their eyes are bright and they’re normally smiling. Some of them do look like aliens!
“But we don’t know where an earth this talent comes from. Ray’s never even doodled before. I’ve never known him do anything like that.
“He doesn’t know what the pictures are. He just says ‘I’ll put that there, then I’ll just put that there.’
“I asked him what they are and he says ‘I haven’t got a clue’ and says to me ‘Where do I get these from? I’m bonkers aren’t I?’”
She explained how Ray was diagnosed in 2004 with Alzheimer’s and just two years ago he developed his new talent.
“My son’s partner bought him an adult colouring book and said perhaps he’d like to do something.
“I said that’s a good idea and he settled with that. Then that started him drawing and since then he hasn’t stopped. I keep him supplied with biros and card.
“He’ll do it from getting up in the morning, he’d even start before breakfast if he could - but I make him have his breakfast.”
The former FA Cup winner was diagnosed after going to the doctors when he started forgetting things.
It has been a steady decline since then, culminating just last week when he forgot his late mum’s name. Pat said that was “very upsetting” but has a positive outlook despite the struggles.
The mum-of-two told the Daily Mirror how they are due to celebrate 60 years of marriage this December, and said: “He’s happy and if he’s happy, I’m happy. It’s as simple as that.
“He’s accepted it from the very beginning. I think I knew what it was from the start because of my father. He was the same. He was 84 when he died.
“Ray said to me ‘If I ever get like that please give me a pill or something’ or words to that effect.
“I said ‘Ray, my dad’s happy’. It’s just us that’s miserable! My dad’s fine.’ And Ray’s the same now.
“He’s happy, he’ll get up in the morning singing away. He loves Frank Sinatra.
“I just thought ‘you’ve got to get on with it, there’s nothing else you can do’. That’s the card we’ve been dealt.”
Pat says he forgets mosts things and television no longer interests him – apart from when the sport is on.
“I think he still knows he’s done something,” Pat said, but said he can’t remember the 63 caps he earned playing for his country.
Ray spent the bulk of his career with Huddersfield Town, before moving to Everton, with whom he won the FA Cup just a couple of months before England beat West Germany.
He still makes the short trip to most Huddersfield home games from his house in picturesque Slaithwaite with one of his two sons, Russell, 58 or Neil, 56.
But when he gets back he’s forgotten the score - or even that he’s been to the match.
Pat said: “He asks me ‘Why can’t I remember?’ and I tell him he’s had a good time while he was there and that’s all that matters.”
Every Tuesday and Thursday Ray goes to the day care which is run by Age UK, where he plays bingo and Play Your Cards Right.
“He really enjoys going and they’re all about the same age as him,” said Pat. “It’s all stimulation for them.”
And it’s good for Pat too, who gets a break from dealing with the same questions repeated over and over again.
“I used to have really down days but since he started going to this day care I can go out and shop and go out and visit. It’s nice to be on my own for an hour or two.
“He does ask me the same question about ten times and I just answer him. He gets stressed out otherwise.
“He doesn’t remember a lot of things now. His birthday was in December and he remembered that. But in another breath he asked ‘What year was I born?’ He’s not going to get any better.
“I just take it day by day. We manage and that’s all I hope for. He’s still got his sense of humour most footballers have a strange sense of humour.“
And he has still got his passion for sport.
“He can’t watch normal television it doesn’t interest him any more – but he still likes sport and understands it all. He’ll even argue with the ref,” she laughs.
“I had an idea there were four of his England team-mates with Alzheimer’s. There are people he played football with it in Huddersfield with it and from Everton. They are all over the place.
“They have talked about heading the leather ball causing it but how many people have it who have never kicked a football? There might be a lot of engineers too except that these are the only ones I know about. There’s a hell of lot now with it.
“Ray’s still eating his food. He remembers his family and he recognises next-door neighbours both sides but he doesn’t know their names. He’s not as bad as my dad was.”
The only sadness Pat sees in her husband is when he talks about beloved their beloved pet terrier Joe, who died 18 months ago.
“He mentions him most days. He misses him. He walked him every day but since we lost our dog he’s stopped walking. He said ‘What’s the point, I haven’t got a dog.’
“That’s another part of his life gone. But thankfully we’ve got good family and the drawing keeps him busy and happy.
“It is incredible where it’s come from and I’m very lucky, there’s no aggression in him at all.
As for his new romantic side, she reveals how during trips out Ray often brings her back some daffodils or wild bluebells.
“I tell him ‘you’re not supposed to do that – you’ll end up in jail!.
“He never used to bring me flowers all our married life,” Pat giggles.
Ray Wilson was born in Shirebrook, Derbyshire
He was worked as a railwayman when he was spotted by a Huddersfield Town scout
He joined the Leeds Road club in 1952 and made 266 appearances in 12 years
Wilson signed for Everton in 1964 and played 116 times for the Toffees
He was capped 63 times by England
On retiring from football he ran a funeral business at outlane, Huddersfield
Wilson was awarded the MBE in 2000