From Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha to Cyrille Regis, footballing stars who sadly left us in 2018

AS 2018 draws to a close, it is time to look back at all the footballing greats we lost this year.

It has been a tragic year with the horrific accident at Leicester, the deaths of 1966 World Cup winners and many more who are no longer with us.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others were killed when his helicopter crashed outside the King Power StadiumHere we take a look at those who we mourned in 2018…

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

Leciester chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was one of five victims of the helicopter crash at Leicester City’s ground on October 27.

Following the Foxes’ 1-1 draw with West Ham at the King Power Stadium, the helicopter carrying Vichai, Nusara Suknamai, Kaveporn Punpare and pilots Izabela Roza Lechowicz and Eric Swaffer crashed shortly after take-off.

The incident saw thousands of fans from across the country visit the ground to pay tributes including Prince William and Kate Middleton and the Leicester players travel to Thailand for the funeral.

Cyrille Regis

Cyrille Regis was a pioneer for black footballers and became only the third black player to play for England
PA:Press Association

The football world mourned the death of Cyrille Regis in January.

The 59-year-old, who was only the third black player to play for England, died of a suspected heart attack on January 15.

Regis made nearly 300 appearances for West Brom during his career and the Hawthorns held a memorial to celebrate his life which was attended by hundreds including the current Baggies’ players, wife Julia and former footballers John Barnes and Dwight Yorke.

Ray Wilkins

Ray Wilkins won the FA Cup at Manchester United before playing for Rangers and Chelsea
PA:Press Association

Ray Wilkins passed away at the age of 61, after suffering a heart attack.

The former Chelsea midfielder had been placed in an induced coma following the heart attack but it was announced a week later that he had died.

Wilkins made 84 appearances for England, with his debut coming under Don Revie and alongside the Blues played for Manchester United, Rangers and Celtic.

Following retirement Wilkins got into coaching and was assistant coach at Chelsea when they lifted the Premier League trophy at the end of the 2009/2010 season.

Jimmy Armfield

Jimmy Armfield played for only one club – Blackpool – throughout his career and was part of the 1966 World Cup winning England squad
PA:Press Association

Blackpool announced that the former Tangerines and England legend Jimmy Armfield had died in January. 

Armfield, 82, played 627 games for Blackpool and had been awarded 43 England caps during his career but had been battling cancer.

A memorial was held at Blackpool’s stadium a few days after the announcement, despite the Seasiders’ game with Charlton being postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. 

Hundreds of fans turned out to applaud the funeral cortege as Armfield passed through Bloomfield Road one more time before the church service.

Fans flocked to the Armfield statue after his death was announced to leave tributes to the Tangerines’ legend
PA:Press Association

Ray Wilson

Former 1966 World Cup winner Ray Wilson passed away at the age of 83 in June.

The left-back played for Huddersfield and Everton during the 1950s and 60s but was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2004.

Ray Wilson was part of the 1966 World Cup winning England squad and has been called “one of the greatest left-backs that England ever produced
PA:Empics Sport

Davide Astori

Fiorentina players came out in the number 13 shirt before their game against Benevento

On March 11, the footballing world was in shock following the death of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori. 

The 31-year-old was found dead in his hotel room, in Udine by team-mates before the club’s game against Udinese.

The game was cancelled and during their first game back, Fiorentina stopped their match against Benevento on 13 minutes – his squad number – to honour their captain.

Juan Carlos Garcia

Former Wigan defender Juan Carlos Garcia lost his battle with leukaemia in January, aged just 29.

Garcia was diagnosed with the illness in 2015, whilst on loan in Tenerife from the Latics.

In 2014, he represented Honduras at the World Cup and made over 30 appearances for his national side.

Paul Alcock

Paul Alcock was well known for being pushed over after sending off Paolo Di Canio
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Former Premier League referee Paul Alcock lost his battle with cancer at the age of 64.

Alcock became well known for taking a tumble after being pushed by Paolo Di Canio when he showed him a red card in 1998.

Liam Miller

Liam Miller sadly passed away after a battle with cancer aged just 36
PA:Press Association

In February, Liam Miller sadly died at the age of 36 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was best known for spells with Celtic, Manchester United, Sunderland and QPR.

In September Celtic and Manchester United faced each other in a tribute match for their former player which saw players including Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Damien Duff amongst the names competing.

John Molyneux

Liverpool legend John Molyneux made over 240 appearances 
PA:Empics Sport

Liverpool legend John Molyneux passed away in March at the age of 87.

The full-back made over 240 appearances for the Reds in the 1950s and 60s, playing under Bill Shankly and helping them gain promotion back to the First Division.

Rene Houseman

Rene Houseman helped Argentina lift the World Cup in 1978
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Argentina World Cup winner Rene Houseman died in March following a long battle with cancer.

The 64-year-old spent his whole career in South America and was part of the World Cup winning Argentina squad in 1978.

Roy Bentley

Chelsea legend Roy Bentley captained the side to it’s first-ever title win in 1955
PA:Empics Sport

Chelsea legend Roy Bentley died at the age of 93 in April. 

He captained the side to it’s first-ever title win in 1955 and was their top scorer seven years in a row.

As well as spells with QPR and Newcastle, he later became a manager spending time in charge of Reading and Swansea.

Jlloyd Samuel

Jlloyd Samuel was tragically killed in a car crash in May
PA:Press Association

In May, ex-Aston Villa and Bolton defender Jlloyd Samuel was killed in a car crash.

It is understood that the former Trinidad and Tobago international was involved in a collision with a truck on a country lane in Warrington.

Neale Cooper

Neale Cooper was a “legendary” midfielder for both Aberdeen and Rangers
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Former Aberdeen and Rangers star Neale Cooper died after collapsing.

The 54-year-old famously helped Sir Alex Ferguson’s Dons defeat Real Madrid in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983.

Alan Gilzean

Tottneham lost legend Alan Gilzean after a short battle with cancer
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Tottenham legend Alan Gilzean died in July following a short battle against a brain tumour.

Gilzean became an idol to Tottenham fans over a ten-year career at the club which saw him play over 300 games.

Paul Madeley

Leeds confirmed that legend Paul Madeley had died on July 23.

The former “utility” player won two Football League First Division titles and was part of the European Cup runners-up squad.

Sir Doug Ellis

Former Aston Villa chairman Sir Doug Ellis (left) died in October
PA:Empics Sport

In October it was announced that former Aston Villa chairman Sir Doug Ellis had died at the age of 94.

Villa won three League Cups during Ellis’ two spells between 1968-1975 and again from 1982 to 2006.

Jimmy Greaves nicknamed Ellis Deadly Doug due to the number of managers he sacked during his two tenures.

Kevin Beattie

Kevin Beattie was most well-known in helping Ipswich win the FA Cup
PA:Empics Sport

Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie died at the age of 64 following a suspected heart attack.

Beattie helped Ipswich win the FA Cup in 1978 and the UEFA Cup in 1981 but was forced to retire due to multiple injuries in 1981.

Peter Hill-Wood

Former Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood died at the age of 82, on December 28.

Hill-Wood was chairman for over 30 years between 1982 and 2013 before ill-health forced him to step down.

Arsenal have confirmed they will be holding tributes for him in their upcoming games against Liverpool and Fulham.


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