Shakers' former World Cup winner dies

JOHN Connelly - the only ever World Cup winner to play for Bury - has died, aged 74.

The winger, who played against Uruguay in England's opening game of the 1966 World Cup, ended his career at Bury, scoring 38 goals in 142 appearances between 1970 and 72.

He is perhaps best known in the North West, however, as a member of Burnley’s 1960 championship-winning side.

But the goal-scoring winger also won the 1965 title with Manchester United and played four seasons at Blackburn.

In later life he ran a fish and chip shop – Connelly’s Plaice – in Nelson, but was honoured in 2009 when FIFA agreed to give World Cup winners’ medals to all the members of the ’66 squad – not just the 11 that played in the final.

“I had a lovely time at Bury,” said Connelly in one of his last interviews about his time playing under Tommy McAnearney at Gigg Lane.

“I’m only sorry that while I was there, we never won anything.

“I have lovely memories of the club and the brilliant bunch that I played with. One thing I liked about it was being able to help people along.

“Some of the younger players, like Terry McDermott or David Holt, might come to me for advice and I could give it. There was a good craic in the dressing room.”

Connelly, who netted seven times in 20 matches over an international career that spanned from 1959-66, also had fond memories of England’s finest hour, despite being the biggest casualty of Alf Ramsey's famous switch to his “wingless wonders” formation mid-tournament.

“They were a great squad and we all looked out for each other. We call ourselves ‘The Boys of ‘66’ and we still have a reunion every year, even the WAGs,” he said.

Connelly died at his home in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Comments (3)

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5:30pm Thu 25 Oct 12

nomoresurfin says...

RIP John, a great player an a gentleman.One of the greatest goal scoring wingers in the history of the game. In his last season as a professional,playing in a struggling Bury side, John managed to top score with 15 league goals in just 38 games,they don't make them like John anymore.
RIP John, a great player an a gentleman.One of the greatest goal scoring wingers in the history of the game. In his last season as a professional,playing in a struggling Bury side, John managed to top score with 15 league goals in just 38 games,they don't make them like John anymore. nomoresurfin

1:51pm Sun 28 Oct 12

nomoresurfin says...

Sadly there was no minute's silence for John before the Walsall match.Who at the club decides on these things?
A few years ago a largely unheralded former stalwart had a stand named after him, purely because of a persistent and vouluble campaign by family members, yet a much loved former player like Connelly from a more recent era doesn't even warrant a minutes silence.It doesn't reflect well on the club.
Sadly there was no minute's silence for John before the Walsall match.Who at the club decides on these things? A few years ago a largely unheralded former stalwart had a stand named after him, purely because of a persistent and vouluble campaign by family members, yet a much loved former player like Connelly from a more recent era doesn't even warrant a minutes silence.It doesn't reflect well on the club. nomoresurfin

2:52pm Wed 31 Oct 12

Eileenshakers says...

The club is run like a joke shop with jokers as directors who sit around like people who create Christmas cracker jokes.God rest your soul John,you were a legend at our club and we as Bury supporters will not forget your efforts on our behalf all those years ago.Now can someone please lift this Gigg Lane Curse which has plagued our club for so long.It cannot be a coincidence in my opinion.I think it's fair to say that we do have 4th tier players aside from those under achievers like David Worrall (why should i bust a gut if nobody else is bothered)?.).The club needs to give a John a minute's silence for the cup game on Saturday.
The club is run like a joke shop with jokers as directors who sit around like people who create Christmas cracker jokes.God rest your soul John,you were a legend at our club and we as Bury supporters will not forget your efforts on our behalf all those years ago.Now can someone please lift this Gigg Lane Curse which has plagued our club for so long.It cannot be a coincidence in my opinion.I think it's fair to say that we do have 4th tier players aside from those under achievers like David Worrall (why should i bust a gut if nobody else is bothered)?.).The club needs to give a John a minute's silence for the cup game on Saturday. Eileenshakers

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