Former Huddersfield, Leicester and Bolton striker Frank Worthington has sadly died aged 72 following a long battle with illness, his family have confirmed. During his 24-year career, the forward also represented the likes of Birmingham, Leeds, Sunderland, Southampton and Brighton.
One of the most exciting players of his generation, Worthington went on to earn eight England caps, scoring two goals.
Arguably his most memorable effort came in a Bolton shirt against Ipswich. The attacker was doing kick-ups facing his own goal, while on the edge of the opposition area.
Seven Ipswich defenders raced out of the box to apply pressure but Worthington flicked the ball over his own head, leaving every opponent dazzled.
He then struck the volley so sweetly it nestled in the bottom corner.
Confirming his passing, Worthington’s wife Carol said: “Frank brought joy to so many people throughout his career and in his private life.
“He will be greatly missed by everyone who loved him so much.”
Worthington developmed Alzheimer’s disease in 2016 and his daughter Kim-Malou believed that was down to heading the old footballs.
Kim-Malou said at the time: “Frank Worthington has Alzheimer’s… they say several footballers from my dad’s era have suffered the same disease, possibly due to the constant heading of the heavy football back in the day.”
The following day Worthington issued a statement denying that he had Alzheimer’s disease.
“I have never been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or any other neurological disorder or illness,” he said.
“I do have some issues with short-term memory impairment but I have been assured this is not particularly unusual for a man of my age.”
Tributes have poured in for Worthington following his passing, led by Match of the Day host Gary Lineker.
“Profoundly saddened to hear that Frank Worthington has died,” he wrote. “He was my boyhood hero.
“A beautiful footballer, a maverick and a wonderful character who was so kind to this young apprentice when he joined the club. RIP Frank (Elvis).”