Freddie Hill: 1940-2021

Wanderers are saddened to hear of the death of club stalwart Freddie Hill.

Hill, who has died at the age of 81, made 412 appearances for the club between 1958 and 1969.

An inside-forward, Wanderers signed Hill from youth football in his home city of Sheffield.

He was given his League debut as an 18-year-old in April, 1958 – a month before Wanderers won the FA Cup by beating a Manchester United side starting to re-build following the Munich air disaster.

Hill didn’t feature at Wembley, where two goals from Nat Lofthouse saw Wanderers lift the Cup for a fourth time.

But a highly skilful player with an eye for goal, Hill quickly established himself in the Bolton side under legendary manager Bill Ridding.

His first international recognition came with England’s U23 side and in October, 1962 he won the first of two full caps against Northern Ireland in Belfast.

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Hill had been Wanderers’ top scorer in their 1961/62 First Division campaign and as a regular in the top flight he attracted the attention of a number of other clubs – notably Liverpool.

However, Hill stayed at Burden Park, where he was a big favourite with the supporters, following the Whites’ relegation in 1964 and had taken his number of appearances beyond 400 – with 79 goals in a Bolton shirt – before joining Halifax Town in July, 1969.

It wasn’t long before Hill returned to the First Division with Manchester City for a three-season stay at Maine Road.

And he then ended his career in this country with a successful stint with Peterborough United, starring in Posh’s 1973/74 Fourth Division title-winning side and becoming such a favourite he was inducted into the London Road hall of fame.

After a spell playing in Ireland, Hill returned to Lancashire to figure in non-league football for Droylsden and Radcliffe Borough and remained a familiar face in and around Bolton.

Hill’s passing follows the death earlier this week of former Wanderers’ forward and England World Cup winner Roger Hunt.

Hunt will be remembered with a minute’s applause ahead of Wanderers’ home game against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, while the club will pay tribute to Hill at their next home league game against Wigan Athletic on Saturday 16 October.

The thoughts of everyone at Wanderers are with Freddie's friends and family at this sad time.

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