Frank Worthington, the former England striker best known for his flamboyant skills, has passed away, aged 72 after a long illness.
Worthington, who won eight England caps, started his career at Huddersfield. He went on to represent 20 different clubs in a colourful career – and was seen as one of football’s great entertainers.
Worthington passed away on Monday evening, dying peacefully in a hospital.
His wife Carol paid tribute to the much-loved football showman in a statement.
“Frank brought joy to so many people throughout his career and in his private life,” Carol Worthington said.
“He will be greatly missed by everyone who loved him so much.”
Worthington’s daughter, Kim Malou, announced on Facebook in 2016 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but he issued a statement the following day denying that he had the condition.
Unashamedly non-establishment, Worthington hit the headlines as much for his off-field exploits as his rarefied talents on it.
Worthington was once described by former Huddersfield and Bolton manager Ian Greaves as “the working man’s George Best”. He also played in 22 consecutive Football League seasons from 1966, scoring 266 goals in 882 appearances in all competitions.
In 14 of those campaigns he played in the top division. He netted 150 goals in 466 matches. He also won the Golden Boot award in 1978/79 as the leading scorer ahead of Kenny Dalglish and Frank Stapleton.
Gary Lineker leads Worthington tributes
Former Leicester, Tottenham and England striker Gary Lineker offered his condolences on Twitter.
“Profoundly saddened to hear that Frank Worthington has died. He was my boyhood hero when he was at @LCFC,” Lineker posted.
“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).”
Worthington’s former clubs were also quick to pay their respects on social media.
Huddersfield tweeted: “Everyone at #htafc is devastated to hear of the passing of Town legend Frank Worthington. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Leicester posted: “It is with great sadness that we heard the news of the death of Leicester City legend Frank Worthington, who passed away on 22 March, 2021.”
Bolton tweeted: “It is with great sadness that Bolton Wanderers has today learned of the passing of club legend Frank Worthington. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Birmingham posted: “The club is saddened to learn of the passing of Frank Worthington aged 72. All of our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Leeds tweeted: “The thoughts of everyone at # are with the friends and family of Frank Worthington who has sadly passed away at the age of 72.”