Farewell to one-time Cemaes Bay player and former England star Frank Worthington

15th February 1975: Arsenal's Liam Brady watches, unable to reach the ball, as team mate George Armstrong (1944 - 2000) races after Leicester City's Frank Worthington, during their FA Cup fifth round tie at Highbury. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

15th February 1975: Arsenal’s Liam Brady watches, unable to reach the ball, as team mate George Armstrong (1944 – 2000) races after Leicester City’s Frank Worthington, during their FA Cup fifth round tie at Highbury. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

Former England striker Frank Worthington – who once played for North Wales club Cemaes Bay – has died aged 72 following a long illness.

Worthington began his career as a forward for Huddersfield Town in 1966 before playing for Leicester City, Bolton Wanderers, Birmingham City, Leeds United, Sunderland, Southampton, Brighton and Hove Albion, Tranmere Rovers, Preston North End, Stockport County and Galway United. He made 757 English League appearances, scoring 234 goals.

Frank also played in the United States (with NASL teams Philadelphia Fury and Tampa Bay Rowdies), South Africa and Sweden as well as in English non-League football.

While a Leicester player, Worthington won eight caps for England in 1974, scoring two goals.

One of his most memorable moments came in 1979 when he scored a stunning solo goal for Bolton against Ipswich Town.

With his back to goal, Worthington flicked the ball over his head, running around two defenders before slamming the ball on the volley into the corner of the goal.

Back in 1991, Anglesey club Cemaes Bay hit the headlines when personality extraordinaire Worthington played a game for them. The appearance features on his official career statistics.

By now in his early 40’s, Frank showed he still retained some of his old skills with a fine performance in a 3-0 home win under floodlights at School Lane.

Frank Worthington (centre back row – white shirt, long hair) at Cemaes Bay for a charity game in 1991. Picture: Gareth Jones

Although he didn’t score, the ex-Leicester City and Bolton Wanderers striker laid on a goal for his good friend Paul Maguire, the ex-Stoke City midfielder, who was signed for Welsh Alliance club Bay that season.

Cemaes’ boss Colin Hawkins knew Worthington from the time they spent together in America on soccer missions. In the same group were Maguire, Chris Lawler, Mickey Thomas, ex-Bangor City chief Dave Elliott and renowned Anglesey referee Gwyn Pierce Owen.

In his stay on Ynys Môn, Worthington was also involved in a weekend of football at Cemaes where Chris Lawler’s All-Stars took on the local team in a charity match for the Alder Hey Hospital Appeal.

The All-Stars boasted many heroes of the 1970’s and 80’s with Worthington joined by Liverpool greats Terry McDermott and David Johnson, and of course Lawler.

The match ended 8-5 to the All-Stars, Worthington notching a hat-trick, Johnson, McDermott and Maguire also on the scoresheet.

Farewell to a great footballer and entertainer.

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