Wilf Mannion

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Wilf Mannion
Wilf Mannion Statue MFC.jpg
Statue outside the Riverside Stadium of Middlesbrough F. C.
Personal information
Full name Wilfred James Mannion
Date of birth (1918-05-16)16 May 1918
Place of birth South Bank, Middlesbrough, England
Date of death 14 April 2000(2000-04-14) (aged 81)
Place of death Teesside, England
Playing position Inside-forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1936–1954 Middlesbrough 341 (99)
1954–1956 Hull City 16 (1)
1956–1958 Cambridge United
Poole Town
National team
1946–1951 England 26 (11)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Wilfred "Wilf" James Mannion (16 May 1918 –14 April 2000) was an English professional footballer who played as an inside forward,[1] making over 350 senior appearances for Middlesbrough. He also played international football for England. With his blonde hair, he was nicknamed "The Golden Boy".[2][3]

Early life

Mannion was born on 16 May 1918 in South Bank, the son of Irish immigrants Tommy and Mary Mannion, and one of 10 children.[3]


He joined his local team Middlesbrough F.C. in 1936 and went on to make 341 Football League appearances for them, scoring on 99 occasions.[4]

Serving in The Green Howards from January 1940, Mannion fought in France and Italy during World War II.[1]

At the end of the 1947–48 season he wanted a transfer, but Middlesbrough refused. In protest he did not play for them for much of the following season but he eventually backed down and started playing for Middlesbrough again.[5]

England International

He was capped on 26 occasions by the England national football team between 1946 and 1951, and his final appearance came on 3 October 1951.[6] He was a member of the England squad for the 1950 FIFA World Cup.[7]

Later career

After initially retiring as a player in 1954, Mannion subsequently joined Hull City. However, the Football League suspended him for articles he had written,[7] and he left to play non-league football with Poole Town.[4] He also had an unsuccessful spell as manager of Cambridge United.[5]

After football

He was eventually awarded a testimonial match by Middlesbrough in 1983, alongside former Boro and England colleague George Hardwick.[3]

Mannion died on 14 April 2000 at the age of 81.[5]

In 2004 it was announced he was being inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame at the National Football Museum.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 English Hall of Fame Profile Archived 15 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  2. N. Varley (2002) Golden Boy: A Biography of Wilf Mannion, Aurum Press Ltd, ISBN 1-85410-879-4
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "The Original Golden Boy: The Wilf Mannion Story". This is the north east. communigate.co.uk. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Football League Career Stats at Neil Brown
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Brian Glanville (15 April 2000). "Wilf Mannion". Obituary. The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "England's Players - Mabbutt to Murphy". England Football Online. Retrieved 28 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Wilf Mannion 1936-54". Middlesbrough FC. Retrieved 11 December 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Hero duo get footballing honour". BBC. 4 November 2004. Retrieved 25 August 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links