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Fans' farewell to Blackburn Rovers legend Dave Wagstaffe
BLACKBURN Rovers legend Dave Wagstaffe was fondly remembered during his funeral service yesterday.
The left winger, who had two spells at Ewood Park in the 1970s, died earlier this month after a short illness, aged 70.
Hundreds of supporters gathered outside St Peter’s Collegiate Church in Wolverhampton as ‘Waggy’ was laid to rest.
Fans mingled with about 20 former team-mates of the legendary winger, who passed away on August 6 following a battle with cancer.
Among those present were Graham Hawkins, who played with him at both Rovers and Wolves, and ex-Claret Geoff Palmer, who also played with Wagstaffe at Wolves.
It was standing room only inside the church with a 1,000-strong congregation which included the Wolves’ chief executive Jez Moxey, and vice-presidents Robert Plant and Rachael Heyhoe-Flint.
As the coffin was carried into church by members of the Wagstaffe family, the strains of Wolves’ anthem ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ could be heard.
Behind the coffin, his distraught partner Val Williams – wearing the late winger’s 1974 League Cup Final tracksuit top – followed by other family members, one of whom was carrying a framed picture of the footballing idol.
‘Waggy’ first arrived at Ewood in 1976, initially on loan from Wolves, for whom he had made more than 300 appearances.
He moved to Blackpool in 1978, but returned the following year and finished his career with two games in blue and white in 1979.
He is often thought to be the greatest uncapped English winger of his generation and is also credited with being the first English player to receive a red card after being booked twice for Rovers at Leyton Orient in 1977.
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