Walter Winterbottom was the first, youngest and longest-serving England manager, who built a reputation as one of the world’s top coaches and whose work helped pave the way for his successor, Alf Ramsey, to win the World Cup in 1966.
A central defender with Manchester United in the 1930s, he was forced to retire from playing with a spinal injury, but had already laid the groundwork for another career in the game which, after war-time service as a Wing Commander in the RAF, brought him to the attention of The FA.
Winterbottom, aged 33, was appointed national director of coaching in 1946, became England manager the following year and combined both roles until 1962. At a time when The FA International Committee had the final say on team selection, he led England to World Cup Finals in Brazil (1950), Switzerland (1954), Sweden (1958) and Chile (1962).
His record was 78 wins, 33 draws, 28 defeats. The first match produced a 7-2 win over Northern Ireland; the last a 4-0 victory over Wales. Alongside that favourable record, he established a national coaching scheme to nurture young talent, and set up England youth and under-23 teams.
Winterbottom, who later became secretary of the Central Council for Physical Recreation and director-general of the Sports Council, was awarded the OBE, CBE and, in 1978 a knighthood for services to British sport. He died, aged 88, in 2002.