Former Blackburn Rovers and England footballer Ronnie Clayton has died at the age of 76.
Preston-born Clayton’s career at Blackburn spanned two decades and he made 35 appearances for England, many as skipper.
Blackburn were Clayton’s only club side and chairman John Williams told their website: “No-one had a bad word for Ronnie and he will be sadly missed.”
The club will pay its respects before Saturday’s home game against Chelsea.
Described as an outstanding wing half, Clayton was rated as one of the best England players of his generation.
“Ronnie was not only a wonderful servant and ambassador for the club, he was also one of the most popular men ever to be associated with Rovers, ” added Williams.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to his dear wife Val and all his family at this saddest of times,” he added.
The one-club man, who made 665 appearances for Rovers between 1951 and 1969, passed away in the Royal Blackburn Hospital.
Rovers have said they will pay their respects before tomorrow afternoon’s Premier League clash with Chelsea.
Ronnie, a right-half, made his debut against Queens Park Rangers in April 1951 and still lies second in the all-time list of leading appearance-makers for the club.
He helped them win promotion to the First Division in 1958 and was captain as Rovers reached the FA Cup final at Wembley in 1960.
He won 35 England caps and became the first Rovers player since Bob Crompton to captain his country.
During his Rovers career he ran a newsagent’s shop and, after a short spell as player manager of Morecambe, worked as an area manager for tyre company ATS.