It is with great sadness that Wolves can confirm that the legend Bert Williams MBE passed away this morning at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital at the age of 93, surrounded by his family.
Wolves would like to express their deepest condolences to Bert's family including children Annette, Vaughan and Paul, his friends and many fans and admirers, both at home and across the world.
Bert, famously nicknamed ‘the Cat’ initially by the Italian media, will forever be a revered figure at Wolves after moving to Molineux from Walsall.
He stayed closely in touch with the club after his retirement following an illustrious career in which 420 appearances for Wolves included the 1949 FA Cup success and 1953/54 League Championship.
Bert’s 24 England caps included appearing at the 1950 World Cup Finals in Brazil, and he was the oldest living England international prior to his death.
Only last year Bert reached a magnificent milestone of raising £150,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society after his wife Evelyn died from the illness back in 2002.
“Bert was not only a fantastic footballer both for club and country, but also a true gentleman who loved Wolves,” said Chairman Steve Morgan.
“As a young football fan who used to read about the achievements of that all-conquering Wolves team of the 1950s, it was an honour and a privilege to have been able to meet Bert on so many occasions since I arrived at the Club in 2007.
“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.
“He will be sadly missed at Molineux, but will never, ever be forgotten.”
Bert received a long-awaited MBE in 2010, having a year earlier been inducted into the Wolves’ Hall of Fame on an emotional night at Molineux.
Wolves Chief Executive Jez Moxey said: “When you come and work for a club like Wolves, with all its illustrious history, it is a privilege to be able to meet some of the players who once helped make the club one of the very best in the world.
“And Bert was one of those who was right at the very top of that list.
“Such a humble character despite all his successes, Bert not only achieved so much during his time as a goalkeeper for Wolves, he gave so much back to the club after his career came to an end.
“The Wolves and football family are united in sadness at today’s news.
“However, nowhere more keenly will this loss be felt than with his family and friends and everyone at Wolves sends them our sincere condolences at this time.”
Wolves will be liaising with Bert’s family with regards to the appropriate ways to pay tribute to his life and those details will be announced in due course.
*Fans who wish to pay tribute to Bert can e-mail their stories and memories to firstname.lastname@example.org All of these will be passed on to the Williams family.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TRIBUTE TO BERT WILLIAMS SHOWN WHEN HE WAS INDUCTED INTO THE WOLVES HALL OF FAME