TRIBUTES have been paid to one of Worcester City’s greatest ever players who took a starring role in the Blue and Whites historic 2-1 FA Cup win over the mighty Liverpool six decades ago.
Harry Knowles died at the age 87 last week and current club chiefs hailed the legend, lovingly known as ‘Knowles For Goals’, as one of the most popular players to wear the shirt.
A traditional centre-forward, Harry had two spells at St George’s Lane between 1956 and 1962, interrupted by eighteen months at Cardiff City. City paid a club record fee to bring ‘Our ‘Arry’ back home and in total he made 200 appearances for the club, scoring 148 goals.
Born in Hednesford in September 1932, Harry earned a professional contract with Walsall in 1950/51 but was discarded after only 10 league games. He started work at a bookbinder’s and signed for Stourbridge, then Kidderminster Harriers, where he emerged as a bustling forward alongside future England international Gerry Hitchens.
National service disrupted his career and Harry played for Oswestry Town before returning to Kidderminster.
Worcester signed him in May 1956 and he soon became popular with his all-action, no nonsense style of play. In 1956/57 season he scored 43 goals and the next season he got 45, including a dramatic last-gasp equaliser against Aldershot in the FA Cup.
It was in the 1958/59 season where his reputation spread as Harry led the line in the club’s historic cup run which brought them face to face with Millwall and Liverpool where he hounded the league defenders non-stop.
Harry scored twice and set up the opening goal in the win over Millwall while perhaps his greatest moment in a City shirt came against the Reds on January 15,1969.
Frequently he would draw defenders out of position by switching with his team-mate Tommy Brown and attacking from the right wing rather than straight down the middle, causing Liverpool untold problems on an icy St George’s Lane pitch.
After teenager Tommy Skuse put City in front, Harry received a pass before cutting inside to whip the ball into the goalmouth. In a bid to clear the ball, Liverpool’s Dick White lifted the ball over Tommy Younger in goal to hand City a 2-0 lead with just eight minutes left.
Although Liverpool pulled a goal back it wasn’t enough and City’s most famous result was greeted with jubilation at the final whistle. When asked about the goal, Harry is said to have commented: “If I hadn’t hit it, it wouldn’t have gone in”.
He eventually moved from Worcester to Wellington Town in July 1962, by when age and injuries were catching up on him. Harry moved on to rejoin his former clubs Stourbridge and Oswestry for short spells in 1964, before moving to Cornwall as player coach of St Just FC in the South Western League.
After taking up fishing in his new home of Penzance, Harry twice won the European Sea Angling championship.
A club spokesperson said: “He was always happy to share stories about his time here and always brought with him his photo album to show his treasured pictures from his time at Worcester.
“It’s hard to believe that the greatest City legend of all time is no longer with us. He will be sadly missed but never forgotten.”