Very sad news this morning when we were told that one of our family John Worsdale had passed away after a short fight with cancer. Although we were aware that John was having a tough battle we still hoped and prayed that he would pull through.
John made his name as a Stoke On Trent Schoolboy footballer who famously played in the English Schools Trophy winning team of 1963. In that team were many great local lads who went on to play for both Stoke City and Port Vale. John together with Denis Smith, Bill Bentley and Jackie Marsh all signed for Stoke City and all went on to play in the first team. John actually made his debut together with Denis in an away game at Arsenal in September 1968. John made a small number of appearances before finding himself at Lincoln City where he made 67 appearances and scoring 9 goals. He later played at Worksop Town making 71 appearances and agin netting 9 times. In later life he ran a news agency before retiring.
Since 2009 when we first formed SCOBA John became a loyal and committed member. He regularly attended our meetings and events and never missed a home game with his grandson.
Mike Pejic has paid tribute to his former team-mate in his weekly column after only just hearing of the sad news.
He said: “We used to call him Billy Whizz, after the comic book character, because he was like shit off a shovel when it came to sprints and running up Trentham Hills
“John was a gifted winger who could run and cross with pace, it’s just a pity that the competition was so hot at the time and that restricted his number of appearances before he moved on.
“John was a local lad who later had his own newsagents and it was great to see him at my wedding in June.
“I could never have guessed that would be the last time I would ever see John.”
Our thoughts are with his wife Angela and all the family as they come to terms with their devastating loss.
RIP John gone but not forgotten.