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.
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