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R.I.P. Cliff Trott

Legend of 1957 team passes away.

3 April 2021

Wycombe Wanderers have lost another of their legends with the death of Cliff Trott at the age of 91.

He’s the third of the legendary 1957 FA Amateur Cup line-up to pass on in the last eight months following the loss of Jim Truett and Mike Wicks. It leaves only Dennis Syrett and Len Worley left from the Blues side that became the first from the club to grace the famous Wembley turf.

Trott was a key member of the squad that Sid Cann got together to become one of the leaders of amateur football in the 1950s. Aside from that great Cup run which saw them score six memorable victories before bowing to Bishop Auckland in front of a 90,000 crowd, the Wanderers won the Isthmian League title twice and were runners-up twice in a memorable spell of the club’s history.

Cliff was the heartbeat of that side. His hustle, bustle, non-stop running and aggression created openings for fellow strikers Malcom Hunt and Paul Bates and fitted in perfectly with the silkier skills of teammates like Len Worley, Jackie Tomlin and Frank Smith.

But Trott got more than his fair share of goals too – 158 in only 224 games between 1954 and 1961. His 29 goals in his first season of 1954-55 were followed by 19 more in the League alone the following year when the Wanderers clinched their very first Isthmian League title. His five in the Amateur Cup that season also helped on the road to Wembley.

Spotted by Coach Cann playing for home club Slough Centre alongside his brother, Cliff created life-time bonds at Loakes Park. He and wife Eileen were particularly close to Malcolm Hunt and his wife Barbara, lunching together every week before Malcom died in 2012. Typically, they both agreed to be founder members of Wycombe’s Ex-Players Association on the same day and attended lots of the early events including the first tribute dinner to the 1957 heroes when the whole squad bar Fred Lawson and Frank Westley were re-united in 2009.

Cliff was made a Life Member of WWEPA along with surviving members of the squad back in 2017. Although confined to a Care Home with advancing dementia, he was proud to display his Ex-Players’ plaque on the wall of his room where he kept all his Wanderers’ memorabilia. A True Blue to the end. “He had a long and enjoyable life and is now at rest. A life to be celebrated,” said son Paul. Our thoughts are with Paul, his brother David and all the family.

Cliff Trott’s remaining teammates from the 1950s were quick to join other WWEPA members remembering the colourful character who livened up the Loakes Park dressing room for seven seasons:

Len Worley ( WW 1954-70): “What a fantastic guy. I say that even though he rollicked me every game we played together for not working hard enough. I’m sure I won my England amateur international caps because of his promptings.”

Dennis Syrett ( WW 1952-64): “Coach Sid Cann didn’t always say a lot, but he did tell me once that he’d built his team around Cliff Trott. He was an inspiration to us all with his never-say-die approach, his fantastic work-rate, his bravery and his goals. He was a very sincere chap, a father figure off the pitch and tireless on it.

Dennis Atkins ( WW 1952-64): “ What a character. He was a hard man and a grafter, always showing total commitment. I remember his tough tackling, always going down on one knee. It even made an international referee like Ken Aston smile although it would probably get him sent off today. Cliff was one of the big characters of that fine squad which had respect for each other right up to the present day.”

John Maskell (WW 1964-80 & WWEPA President): “Although I didn’t know Cliff well he was one of my heroes from the 1957 Wembley team. I was 15 and it was the first big game I had been to. Cliff and his colleagues did the club proud and he will always be remembered. RIP.”

Alan Hutchinson (WWEPA Chairman): “So very sorry to hear about the passing of Cliff. He was a favourite of mine. His strength, ability to pass and create space was outstanding. All that and scored goals too. Good to see he had a very good life right to the end.”

John D Taylor (WWEPA)

Bottom: Cliff Trott’s greatest day for Wycombe, lining up (sixth from left) with Wanderers’ teammates before the 1957 Amateur Cup Final against Bishop Auckland. The surviving squad were brought together and honoured by WWEPA in 2007. L-r: Jim Moring, Dennis Syrett, Mike Wicks, Jim Truett, Geoff Truett, Len Worley, Cliff & Jack Tomlin.

Top: Cliff the player and getting a pre-Wembley briefing from Coach Sid Cann. Fifty years on, celebrating his marvellous career at Wycombe and treasuring his WWEPA award.

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