One in a series of articles checking out the careers of Warrington's sporting legends, who take a much deserved place in our Hall of Heroes

TENDING to Brian Bevan’s toes, discovering a World Cup winner, scoring on his England debut and lifting the FA Cup with a white elephant tied to his calf – all in a career for Freddie Worrall.

Born in Warrington on September 8, 1910, Worrall led a varied life, one that first saw him make a name on the sporting scene as a professional footballer with Portsmouth.

It was there he played as an outside right, becoming a beaten FA Cup finalist in 1934 but returning five years later to lift the cup after seeing off Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 at Wembley.

As was Worrall’s superstitious nature, he put the triumph down to the lucky mascots tied around his socks, and not least the ritual of having to put on manager Jack Tinn’s spats – worn over the instep and ankle – it had to be Worrall and it had to be left spat first.

Rumour has it when Pompey lost to Manchester City in ’34, nerves had led to Worrall putting Tinn’s right spat on first by mistake.

“He walked onto the pitch in the ‘39 cup final and round the top of his socks he had a white elephant, a lucky horseshoe and some other things,” laughed Worrall’s daughter Mavis. “It would probably be a bit dangerous now!

“The spats, it’s stupid when you think about it, but it was an honour for him to put on Jack Tinn’s spats.

“They held that cup longer than anyone else, because it was never played for during the war.”

Worrall was capped twice for England, scoring on his debut in a 1-0 win over Holland in 1935, but when war came a career that spanned more than 300 games for Portsmouth was cut shortand he returned to Warrington.

He had started his career at Oldham Athletic and after leaving the south coast he joined the fire service, while also enjoying a stint with Crewe Alexandra in 1946-47.

“He used to get postcards from Portsmouth FC, saying they were playing in such and such a place in the north and could he turn up with his boots,” added Mavis, who still lives in Warrington.

“He didn’t enjoy the fire service much.”

Luckily for Worrall he was able to turn his hand back to sport, this time rugby league with Warrington.

“The manager at the time, Chris Brockbank, only lived around the corner from us on Ellesmere Road and asked my dad what he was doing,” explained Mavis.

“He said he was doing this course, training to be a masseur, so he did the course and Chris asked if he wanted to practice on the players.

“One of them was Brian Bevan, who was apparently a bit of a crank as well. My dad used to have to stick elastoplasts between each of his toes before every game!”

Worrall left Warrington with Brockbank when Ces Mountford, Challenge Cup winner with Wigan in 1951, was appointed coach.

“Ces Mountford came in from Wigan and brought all his own staff, so my dad and (former skipper) Freddie Ryder were out of a job,” continued Mavis.

“Not long after that he joined Stockton Heath and was with them for 13 years.”

It was as manager of Stockton Heath, now Warrington Town, that Worrall lent advice to one Roger Hunt, who became a World Cup winner with England in 1966.

“I remember him coming to our house to talk to dad,” said Mavis. “He told Roger to choose the team closest to where he lived, so he did and went from strength to strength.

“From then on three of them would go to every home game at Liverpool once Roger started.

“My father and I became devout Liverpool supporters, but my sister was a Manchester United fan – so it didn’t go down well!”

Hunt added: “Freddie had played internationally and won the cup with Portsmouth. I asked him about an offer with Swindon and said I had an offer from Liverpool.

“He was very knowledgeable about the game and did a lot of good there with the lads of that era – he told me he thought I would be better off going to Liverpool.”

Mavis concluded: “My dad said if he’d had his time again he would've played rugby league, because they could have two jobs at the time.

“I think he enjoyed his time at Portsmouth, but he would have preferred to have been at Wilderspool Causeway. He had quite a varied career really.”

See Freddie in the 1939 FA Cup Final footage below - watch out for him in the number 7 shirt