United Kingdom

The oldest living FA Cup winner Reg Harrison dies aged 97 surrounded by his family

Reg Harrison - who was the oldest living winner of the FA Cup - has died at the age of 97.

The former winger lifted the trophy with Derby County back in 1946 following their 4-1 victory against Charlton at Wembley in the first FA Cup final since the second World War. 

Harrison died at around 9pm on Thursday night surrounded by family in the bungalow he had lived in for 54 years.

Former Derby winger Reg Harrison, the oldest living FA Cup winner, has died at the age of 97

Harrison (right) died at around 9pm on Thursday night surrounded by family in the bungalow

Harrison spent 11 years with Derby between 1944 and 1955, scoring 59 goals in 281 appearances for a club he had joined at the age of 16. 

During the war, he also guested for Sheffield United, Notts County, Charlton Athletic and Hartlepools United, now known simply as Hartlepool United.

He then decided to end his playing career with a two-year spell at Lancashire side Boston United before joining Derbyshire outfit Long Eaton United in 1957. 

He served with the Royal Engineers in Northumberland during World War II after switching from being a joiner to try his hand at painting and decorating.

Harrison (front row, second from left) won the FA Cup in 1946 after Derby beat Charlton

But his most distinguished moment came in the game came aged 22, as he helped Stuart McMillan's side to the 4-1 victory over The Latics at Wembley.

Sammy Crooks was the first-choice wide man for Derby that season but was injured before the quarter-finals, meaning Harrison got his chance and his shot at glory.

Harrison also had a brief managerial career after deciding to hang up his boots, taking charge of Long Eaton as player-manager in February 1958 and remaining in that position until May 1962, before spells at Wilmorton & Alvaston and Alfreton Town.

However, his focus soon shifted to helping out young people in his hometown by working for Derby City Council's youth service.

Harrison was awarded Freedom of the City for services to the community in February 2019

He set up a youth centre on Stockbrook Recreation Ground in the late 1960s, which came to be known as 'Reg's', before later moving on to set up the Chesapeake Youth Club and Football Club.

In February 2019, he was commended for his work by being awarded Freedom of the City for services to the community by Derby City Council.

Harrison married his wife Win in shortly before the end of the war and went on enjoy 73 years of marriage with her before she sadly passed away two years ago.

The couple had two children, Michael and Pat, but their son passed away at the age of seven from leukaemia, meaning Harrison is survived by his daughter.

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