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BERT LLEWELLYN (1939-2016)

8 September 2016

Club saddened by passing of former player Bert Llewellyn.

All at Wigan Athletic Football Club are saddened to hear of the passing of former player Bert Llewellyn, aged 77.

Bert, born in Golborne, is a bonafide Latics legend with a goal scoring record to rival that of the modern day superstars, scoring 96 goals in 115 Cheshire League appearances (140 goals in all competitions) during his three year spell at the club from 1965-1968.

The tricky forward begin his career with First Division Everton, before spells with Crewe Alexandra and Port Vale gave him the opportunity to show off his goal scoring prowess.

Bert was received with the utmost respect from Latics supporters of all ages when he greeted the crowd at Latics' Easter Monday meeting with Rochdale last season, a touching moment and a sign of the impact he made during his time at the club.

Our sincere thoughts are with Bert's family and friends at this time.

*Bert's funeral will be held at 3.15pm on Wednesday 14 September at Howe Bridge Crematorium.

Below is an extract written by BBC Radio Manchester's Paul Rowley ahead of that match, a man who grew up appreciating Bert's talent as his boyhood favourite.

Bert Llewellyn scored the first Wigan Athletic goal that I saw. It may well have been his last. But boy what a record!

At my reckoning he bagged 96 goals in 115 appearances in the Cheshire League over three seasons, when he even managed more league goals every year than our record goal scorer Harry Lyon.

As a 13-year-old I attended my first Latics match on March 30 1968, a Lancashire Junior Cup semi-final against St Helens Town.  It was an inauspicious start to my lifetime love affair, but Bert got the only goal.

I'd gone along to watch my cousin Derek Floyd, who like Bert was from Golborne. Derek, an old style wing-half (what happened to wing halfs?) didn't play, though he did feature in the Final when we beat Marine 2-0 at Deepdale.  It was Bert's last season but his goal scoring ratio was better than Lionel Messi's.

He was signed by Allan Brown in 1965, and managed 49 in 39 league appearances in his first season, and if you include the variety of cup competitions we took part in in those days he collected 57 in 57 in the days before we were sponsored by Heinz.  The following campaign he managed a mere 37 (28 in the league) and in his final year 25 (19).

Oddly for such a prolific marksman, Bert wasn't tall, and his build was slight, but he was as sharp as Will Grigg in the box, scoring five goals twice, four three times, and no fewer than six hat-tricks.

Born six months before the start of the Second World War, Bert's career exploded at Everton, where he found the net on his debut at the age of 17 years 199 days - the fifth youngest scorer in the club's history.

The goal, in a 3-2 home defeat against Blackpool was followed by another in his following game, a 2-2 draw with Bolton, but despite nine more appearances for the First Division giants he didn't trouble the Goodison onion bag again.

He moved to Fourth Division Crewe Alexandra two years later with a record of more than a goal every other game, 51 in 96 league matches.  It was almost as productive at Third Division Port Vale with 42 goals in 88 appearances, before an ill-fated transfer to Northampton Town. The Cobblers won the Third Division title under Dave Bowen in 1963, but Bert managed just eleven minutes in the claret-and-white after suffering a leg injury on his debut.

He collected six goals in 17 games at Walsall before joining his home-town club just after we celebrated lifting our first Cheshire League title in almost 30 years.  But despite a lethal partnership with Harry Lyon, we finished runners-up for the next two seasons behind Altrincham, and in Bert's final year we'd fallen to eighth place.

Bert left us just before we joined the Northern Premier League in 1968, retiring at the age of 29. He did collect an array of trophies for his locker, the Cheshire League Cup, the Lancashire Junior Cup, the Liverpool Non-League Senior Cup (twice), the Lancashire Floodlit Cup, the Northern Floodlit League, and the Northern Floodlit League Cup.

After all these years. I'd just like to say one thing. "Thanks, Bert. You started it all for me."

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