WORCESTER City’s “greatest legend of all time” and FA Cup hero Harry Knowles has died aged 87.
The centre-forward had two spells at St George’s Lane between 1956 and 1962, interrupted by 18 months at Cardiff City, and in total played 200 games for City, scoring 148 goals.
In 1958-59 he led the line when Worcester knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup and both of City’s goals were as a direct result of Knowles unsettling experienced men on an icy pitch.
Soon after City’s cup run was over he was transferred to Cardiff for a then-club record fee of £3,000.
Knowles made eight Football League appearances without scoring and in September 1961 he rejoined City.
Having taken up work as a van driver Knowles returned to Southern League football and carried on scoring goals for another two seasons.
He eventually moved from Worcester to Wellington Town in July 1962 when age and injuries were catching up with him.
Knowles rejoined his former clubs Stourbridge and Oswestry for short spells in 1964 before moving to Cornwall as player-coach of St Just in the South Western League.
He made his home in Penzance and took up fishing.
Knowles excelled at his new sport and twice won the European Sea Angling Championship.
A City spokesman said: “Harry is undoubtedly one of the most popular players ever to don a City shirt.
“Harry visited the Lane on a number of occasions following his retirement and his affection for his old club was very apparent.
“He was always happy to share stories about his time here and always brought with him his photo album to show his treasured pictures from his time at Worcester.
“Harry had not been in the best of health for some time but it’s hard to believe that the greatest City legend of all time is no longer with us.”
Born in Hednesford, Staffordshire, on September 8, 1932, Knowles earned a professional deal with Walsall in 1950-51 but was released after only 10 league games.
He started work at a bookbinders and signed for Stourbridge before starring at Kidderminster Harriers alongside future England international Gerry Hitchens.
National service disrupted his career and Knowles played for Oswestry Town before returning to Kidderminster.
Worcester signed him in May 1956 and he soon became popular with his all-action, no-nonsense style of play.
“Knowles for goals” became a popular saying.
In the 1956-57 season he scored 43 goals and the next season he got 45 including a dramatic last-gasp equaliser against Aldershot in the FA Cup.
During the 1958-59 term his reputation spread as he led the line in the famous FA Cup run, scoring twice and setting up the opening goal against Millwall before guiding Worcester home against Liverpool.