When a 42-year-old Frank Worthington turned it on in Sheffield Wednesday colours at Mel Sterland's testimonial
Yorkshireman, England international and much-loved football maverick Frank Worthington has died at the age of 72, it was confirmed by his family this morning.
His career spanned over 25 years during which he earned eight England caps. He was revered for his easy-on-the-eye style of play and moments of magic, not least the ‘maverick’ tag that came with his lifestyle off the field.
Though Sheffield Wednesday was not one of the clubs he turned out for in a colourful career, he was a great friend of several former Owls players.
And towards the end of his career, having dropped into non-league football, Worthington turned out in blue and white on a number of occasions in testimonials and exhibition matches.
The back end of 1990 saw Mel Sterland’s Wednesday testimonial played against his new club Leeds United at Eland Road. It had been rearranged after the right-back’s short-lived move from Hillsborough to Rangers.
In full spirit of the occasion Worthington, by then 42 and blessed with a middle-aged paunch and a smile on his face, made two goals for hat-trick hero Trevor Francis in a 7-2 Wednesday win.
Mel Sterland’s testimonial? With Frank Worthington in attendance? Needless to say, they had a long night in Leeds afterwards.
This morning former Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Turner, who played with Worthington at Sunderland, tweeted a touching tribute.
“Sad to hear of the passing of former team mate Frank Worthington,” he wrote. “Frank was a great character blessed with tremendous skill, it was a pleasure to have been in the same dressing room as him
“Will always remember the afternoons in Magaluf with Frank holding court in a beach bar.”