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Tuesday, 19 February, 2002, 13:57 GMT
Sir Walter's legacy
Sir Walter (right) leaves the field with England players Ray Wilkins and Peter Swan
Sir Walter took England to four World Cups
BBC Sport's John Motson pays tribute to former England manager Sir Walter Winterbottom who died on Saturday, aged 89.

Sir Walter Winterbottom is primarily remembered for his role as the first ever England manager.

He took over when football resumed after the war in 1946 and stayed in control right through to 1962 when Sir Alf Ramsey took over.


Sir Walter had a wonderful career
John Motson
This was an interesting period for English football as we had a very powerful team featuring the likes of Tom Finney.

And Sir Walter's legacy lives on into the modern game.

He will be remembered with great affection by people like Ron Greenwood, Bill Nicolson and Bobby Robson.

They all did their coaching courses under a scheme that was revolutionary at the time and was installed by Sir Walter.

He made such a tremendous contribution to English football.

Later he worked for the Central Council of Physical Recreation.

His natural position after he finished as England coach would normally have been to be secretary of the Football Association - but unfortunately politics intervened there.

Hands-on control

It should also be remembered that Sir Walter did not have the control of the England team that a manager of today would have.

The team selection was always in the hands of a committee.

He was having to be told by FA councillors which players would play in the next international, and then he had to make the most of it.

He never had the hands-on control of power that Sir Alf Ramsey later had.

And maybe that's why, in the Winterbottom era, England didn't do as well as they might have done in the World Cups of 1950, 1954, 1958 and 1962.

He had a wonderful career, and he will be sadly missed.

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