Wilf Mannion was one of the inductees into the Cambridge United Hall of Fame. How much do you know about him before he joined the U's?
He was born on 16 May 1918 one of ten children in South Bank
He was 5ft 5 inches tall
He played 341 times for Middlesborough in the League and scored 99 goals in those matches
He was known as the Golden Boy because of his blonde hair
When he left Middlesborough he joined Hull
He represented England
1939–46 → England wartime team 4 (0)
1948 England B 1 (0)
1946–1951 England 26 (11)
He played in the 1950 World Cup and scored for England in a 2-0 win against Chile in the Maracana stadium watch the goal in the clip below
Stanley Matthews said, "Wilf could turn on a sixpence and liked to play the short game. He had an instinctive football intellect. He was a beautiful player and a delight to the eye. On his day, there were few to touch him. So nice and modest."
Centre-forward Tommy Lawton said, "There is no question about it - Wilf was a genius. He had a football player's brain to start with - one which didn't need to be coached. He was quicksilver in his thought. Every time he passed you knew you had bags of time to play the ball... The ability was there, the desire was there and the confidence was there. He used to give you the ball at the right time and would always be in the right place to get it back again."
Tom Finney, commented, "Wilf Mannion was a class-act, the inside-forward I rated as my perfect partner on the left-flank. He could have taught telepathy and had the uncanny knack of getting the ball to you at just the right angle and with just the right pace.
David Jack,his manager said, "Even if we were given a cheque for £50,000 we would not transfer Mannion. Why should we let the best player in Britain go?"
In 1956 Mannion was paid £15 to play for Cambridge United in the Eastern Counties League.
Read more about Wilf via the link on the 100yearsof coconuts website article click here
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