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England captain Hardwick dies

April 22, 2004 11:43 IST

Former England captain George Hardwick has died at the age of 84. A debonair figure even into old age, he was known in his playing days as football's Errol Flynn.

Hardwick was a contemporary of fellow Middlesbrough player and England international Wilf Mannion and the two joined the north-east club as schoolboys in the 1930s.

A tough-tackling left-back or centre-back, Hardwick captained England 13 times before a knee injury cut short his international career in the late 1940s.

He made 166 appearances for Middlesbrough before leaving in 1950 to become player-manager of Oldham Athletic.

Statues of Hardwick and Mannion stand outside Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium. The club will hold a minute's silence in Hardwick's memory before their home match with Aston Villa on Saturday. Mannion died four years ago.

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