DOUGIE Holden, the last surviving player of the famous Stanley Matthews FA Cup Final of 1953, has passed away at the age of 90.

An England international capped five times by his country, Holden made 463 appearances for Bolton Wanderers and scored 44 goals between 1951 and 1962.

A wonderfully balanced winger who was comfortable on either flank, Holden was a talisman for Bill Ridding’s side throughout the fifties.

Manchester-born, Holden played for the Princess Road School before joining Lancashire Amateur League side Manchester YMCA, where his three brothers also played.

He joined Wanderers as an amateur in 1948 before going on to play for England Youth and completing his national service.

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Holden had featured in just 12 reserve team games in the Central League when he was called up to play for the first team against Liverpool in November 1951.

Although he started on the left wing, Holden soon found himself switched to the opposite flank and it was there that he turned out against Blackpool in the FA Cup final of 53.

He returned to Wembley in 1958, this time on the left-wing, to help Bolton beat Manchester United.

Holden was selected for the Football League against the Irish League in March 1959 and a month later he was given his first senior cap by England, aged 28, against Scotland.

Four more caps followed the same year against Italy, Brazil, Peru and Mexico and Holden was also part of an England squad which beat the USA 8-1 at Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, but did not actually play in the game.

Holden’s final game for Bolton came in 1962 at the same venue it had started, Anfield, and 12 months later the club’s near 30-year unbroken run in the top flight came to an end.

Holden won another FA Cup runners-up medal with North End in 1964, finishing his Football League career 12 months later after 89 league games and 13 league goals at Deepdale.

He emigrated to Australia and became player-coach of Hakoah in Sydney, later managing Auburn FC and the Sydney City Soccer Club. Holden was also picked for the Australia B side in 1966, playing in an exhibition match against AS Roma.

He returned to England in 1970 and worked at Grimsby Town as a trainer and manager of non-league Dartford.

After the death of Blackpool’s Cyril Robinson in 2019, Holden was the last survivor of the 53 final.

Wanderers confirmed he passed away after a short illness on Wednesday.

"The thoughts and prayers of everybody at Bolton Wanderers Football Club are with Doug’s family and friends during this sad time," said a statement on the official website. "Rest in peace, Doug."

The Bolton News:

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