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The Toe Poke

World Cup winner Connelly passes away

John Connelly, a member of England's 1966 World Cup-winning squad and a title winner with both Burnley and Manchester United, has died at the age of 74.

The winger won 20 caps for his country and, along with other members of the Alf Ramsey's squad who did not play in the final, was belatedly given a World Cup winner's medal in 2009.

Connelly played in the tournament's opening game, the 0-0 draw against Uruguay but that proved his final cap as Ramsey opted for the "wingless wonders", leaving no place for the specialist outside-right.

He was first capped in 1959 and was also in the 1962 World Cup squad, though he did not play in a game.

Born in St Helens, Connelly began his career with his hometown club, who played in the Lancashire Combination league.

At 18, he was signed by Burnley and made his debut the following year. It was the first of 265 appearances for the Clarets, which produced 105 goals.

Connelly was top goalscorer for Burnley with 20 goals in the 1959-60 season as they won their second and last league title and helped them reach the 1962 FA Cup final.

In 1964, he joined Manchester United for £56,000 and Sir Matt Busby's team, with George Best and Connelly as the two wingers, were champions in 1966.

He then signed for Blackburn and spent four seasons at Ewood Park before ending his career with a three-year stay at Bury.

In retirement, Connelly ran a fish and chip shop.


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