The funeral of Huddersfield Town and England legend Ray Wilson took place today.
Family, friends, and stars of the football world gathered at Huddersfield Crematorium to pay their respects to Ray, 83, who died on May 16 after living with Alzheimer's disease for two years.
Dad-of-two Ray, of Slaithwaite, was arguably England’s greatest ever left-back and was one of the heroes of England’s World Cup victory in 1966 .
Paying tribute to him World Cup-winning teammate Sir Bobby Charlton said: “Ray was an excellent teammate at international level for many years and a close friend.
“We shared some wonderful memories throughout our career and I had the pleasure of being his room-mate.
“Ray was a great man and he will be missed by so many people.”
Thanks for the memories
It was an emotional service with tears and smiles in equal measure. RIP Ray Wilson. A family man, a gentleman and a fabulous footballer. Read our final tribute here.
Smiles as well as tears
Ray was an unsung hero from the 1966 World Cup squad. But he had the respect of all his teammates. They knew how integral he was to that World Cup-winning team.
While there were a few tears shed at Ray’s funeral I’m sure there were smiles and a lot of funny stories told afterwards.
'Ray was world class'
Sir Bobby Charlton, brother Jack, hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst and Norman Hunter were among the mourners who paid their respects to the former Huddersfield defender.
Hunter said: “Ray probably wasn’t as recognised as the other lads, Geoff, Bobby, Bally (Alan Ball) and people like that.
“But as a team-mate you looked at that team sheet and you were very, very happy to have the name Ray Wilson at left-back.
“We got on better as time wears on because the (club) rivalry ceases after a while. It was a bit intense with Leeds United and everything.
“But you get a little bit older and you appreciate the individual more than the rivalry. Ray was world class and you needed that.
“We had Banks, Wilson, (Bobby) Moore, Charlton - I don’t care what era you’re in, you mention those names and they would have gone into any team in the world, any generation.”
'A lovely guy, a smashing guy'
“He was a lovely guy, a smashing guy,” said former England team-mate and goalkeeper Gordon Banks. “He loved a joke and a laugh and that helped in the dressing room for an international match when you were feeling tight.
“He’d crack a joke or make fun out of something and that would help you to relax, which was so good. “There are not too many people about like Ray, if you know what I mean. He really was a lovely guy and a super footballer as well.”
In a word - legends
There were several World Cup legends at the funeral, particularly poignant with the 2018 World Cup just a couple of weeks away.
Town pay respects
Huddersfield Town were represented at the funeral at commercial director Sean Jarvis and club ambassador Andy Booth.
Emotional occasion for many
The funeral was a really emotional occasion with around 250 people in attendance. It was standing room only in the crematorium, and the service was relayed on the big screen.
Tribute from John Helm
There were lots of tributes paid from some legends of the game - including Yorkshire commentator John Helm.
Charlton brothers reunited
Sir Bobby Charlton and brother Jack reunited to pay their respects to Ray Wilson.
Both were at the funeral of the fellow 1966 cup winner.
Jack was seen wiping away tears from his eyes outside of crematorium ahead of the emotional farewell.
The two brothers are rarely seen in public together but put their differences aside.
A tribute has been read out from Derek Gibson in Spain who watched Ray Wilson play. “It was pure ballet watching him catch the ball on his magnetic foot...his sliding tackles were the stuff of legend.”
Pictures as mourners arrive
Standing room only
Ray’s family released a statement in the days after his death.
We really appreciate all the kind words that so many people have passed to us.
The tributes and respect for Ray have stretched far and wide and we now realise how he has touched so many lives.
Wembley Stadium paid tribute to him on the big screen outside.
Ray’s family said:
For an ordinary family to see his name in lights at Wembley Stadium was truly amazing.
We are so deeply moved and comforted by all the messages we have received, from both friends and family, and also people in the community and beyond. We thank you all.
Ray's coffin arrives
Alzheimers revealed Ray's creative side
During his illness, Ray discovered a talent for drawing.
In April 2016, his wife Pat said: “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!”
Order of service
Our reporter is at Ray’s funeral speaking to guests.
Here is a copy of his order of service.
Pictures of Ray through the years
Ray spent most of his playing career with Huddersfield Town and Everton. His potential as a left-back was first spotted by Town manager Bill Shankly.
It was under Shankly that Ray established himself in the first team in the late 1950s. He went on to make more than 250 appearances for Town.