English football has been rocked by the news that goalkeeping legend Bert Williams passed away on Sunday morning, Jan. 19.
Aged 93 at the time of his death, Williams earned 24 caps for England and spent most of his club career at the Molineux Stadium, making 420 appearances for Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Wolves paid tribute to their ex-No. 1 via the club's official website, where it states that Williams died at Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital "surrounded by his family."
The Express and Star's Tim Nash confirmed the news over Twitter:
I'm sorry to report the terribly sad news that #Wolves and England goalkeeping great Bert Williams died this morning. He was 93.— Tim Nash (@TimNash_star) January 19, 2014
At the time of his passing, Williams was the oldest living England international, most famed for his run in between the posts during the 1950 World Cup Finals in Brazil.
Although the tournament would end with a shock defeat at the hands of the United States, Williams retained his reputation as a great figure to have between the posts.
Wolves chairman Steve Morgan also commended the former stalwart's contributions to the club, saying:
Bert was not only a fantastic footballer both for club and country, but also a true gentleman who loved Wolves. His footballing ability speaks for itself, but there was so much more to Bert than just his career alone.
He remained heavily involved with Wolves and the community after his retirement, and the fundraising he has carried out since losing his wife was incredible when you consider his advancing years.
Legend is a word which may be over-used these days, but in the case of Bert Williams it simply doesn’t do him justice.
Williams was admitted to hospital back in August last year, per the Express and Star, after a fall had caused a fracture of the spine.
Known for his agility and talent for reaching even the most impossible-looking of saves, the 'keeper would go on to be nicknamed "The Cat."
Williams won the First Division title with Wolves back in the 1953-54 campaign, five years after helping the Birmingham outfit lift the 1949 FA Cup trophy.
Just shy of his 94th birthday, Williams will be a missed figure in the English football setting.