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Plaques for Stan Cullis and Joe Mercer

Stan Cullis

Stan Cullis and Joe Mercer are football greats. As boys they attended Cambridge Road Primary School, Ellesmere Port. The school is now seeking to honour both men by erecting plaques on the building and the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) is delighted to offer its support. As yet no date has been fixed for the unveiling. 

Born 1916, Stan Cullis started his career playing at school level. He was twice a Football League runners-up with Wolves, where he also finished as FA Cup runners-up in 1938-39.  He represented at centre half his country on 12 occasions and captained the side in the last pre-war game. He also made 17 war time appearances. As manager of Wolves between 1948 and 1964 he three times led the Black Country club to the Division One title and twice won the FA Cup. Cullis helped pioneer the move by English clubs into playing in Europe. A statue to Cullis stands outside Molineux. 

Born 1914, Mercer’s early days were filled by schoolboy football around Ellesmere port and Cheshire Schools. He turned professional in September 1932 and won the League title and FA Cup once before the war with Everton. He played five times for his country and also made 27 appearances during the war and following which he joined Arsenal and where he won the league title twice more and the FA Cup once. He was voted Footballer of the Year in 1949-50. 

As a manager he led Aston Villa in 1959-60 to the Division Two title.  He did the same with Manchester City in 1966 and following which he enjoyed further success at Maine Road by winning Division One, the FA and League Cup plus European Cup Winners Cup. Mercer later managed England in a caretaker capacity. 

According to the PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor OBE:  

“In order to inspire the next generation of male and female footballers and to encourage all pupils to do their best at sport the PFA is keen to take the stories of former pupils who became great football stars back into the schools they attended. 

“In conjunction with the school the PFA will be asking family descendants of both men to provide on the day a speaker who will be joined by some special guests from the world of football. 

“It is set to be the third time the PFA has unveiled plaques to footballing legends at the schools they attended. In 2018, Harry Gregg and Alex Williams performed the joint ceremony to Frank Swift and Jimmy Armfield at Revoe School, Blackpool. In 2019 Brian Kidd and John Aston junior did the honours for John Aston senior at Ravensbury Community School, Manchester. They were both great events in which pupils at the schools played major roles.”

Darryl Pickering, Cambridge Road Primary School Headteacher: 

“The school is delighted to play its small part in honouring two of its former pupils. 

“Both Joe Mercer and Stan Cullis were outstanding professionals and a credit to Cambridge Primary Road School.” 

The PFA will also be honouring Bert Whalley, the former Stalybridge Celtic and Manchester United player and coach who lost his life at Munich, by unveiling a plaque to him at the home of Stalybridge Celtic on 7 August 2021.

For further details contact Mark Metcalf at mcmetcalf@icloud.com or 07392 852561

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