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)[1]
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,[2] making over 350 senior appearances for Middlesbrough. He also played international football for England. With his blond hair, he was nicknamed "The Golden Boy".[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Mannion was born on 16 May 1918 in South Bank, the son of Irish immigrants Tommy and Mary Mannion, and one of 10 children.[4]


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.[5]

Mannion fought in France and Italy during World War II, and on his return he wanted to leave Ayresome Park, but the club refused to sell him. In 1948 he went on strike to try and force a move, but this made him ineligible to play for England, and he eventually backed down and started playing for Middlesbrough again.[2]

England International[edit]

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[edit]

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.[5] He also had an unsuccessful spell as manager of Cambridge United.[1]

After football[edit]

He was eventually awarded a testimonial match by Middlesbrough in 1983, alongside former Boro and England colleague George Hardwick.[4]

Mannion died on 14 April 2000 at the age of 81.[1]

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


  1. ^ a b c Brian Glanville (15 April 2000). "Wilf Mannion". Obituary. The Guardian. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b English Hall of Fame Profile[dead link]
  3. ^ N. Varley (2002) Golden Boy: A Biography of Wilf Mannion, Aurum Press Ltd, ISBN 1-85410-879-4
  4. ^ a b c "The Original Golden Boy: The Wilf Mannion Story". This is the north east. communigate.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2010. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b Football League Career Stats at Neil Brown
  6. ^ "England's Players - Mabbutt to Murphy". England Football Online. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Wilf Mannion 1936-54". Middlesbrough FC. Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Hero duo get footballing honour". BBC. 4 November 2004. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 

External links[edit]