Ex-England keeper dies after cancer battle

DARFIELD-born former England goalkeeper Gordon West has died at the age of 69 following a long battle with cancer.

Nicknamed ‘Big Westy’, he became an Everton legend making more than 400 appearances for the club in an 11-year career.

He also earned three England caps, which may have been more had he not refused to go to the 1970 World Cup finals in Mexico because of family commitments.

West actually started his playing career as a defender and played for Don and Dearne Boys and Mitchell and Darfield Club.

When a team mate was given a trial for Blackpool, West accompanied him to Bloomfield Road and told the club he was a goalkeeper, a position he had always fancied playing.

He established himself in the Blackpool first team and his performances attracted the attention of Everton, who signed him in 1962.

West won the football league twice and the FA Cup with the club before retiring in 1976 at the relatively young age of 30.

He died in hospital on June 10 .

He is survived by his wife, Linda, and his sons, Steven and Mark.

A funeral service was held at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral followed by a private cremation.