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NEWS: PFA plaque in honour of Joe Mercer to be unveiled

18 November 2021

The remarkable life of Joe Mercer OBE will be celebrated in his hometown of Ellesmere Port on Thursday 18 November when a PFA plaque in his honour will be unveiled by football legend Peter Reid at the Ellesmere Port Civic Hall at 1.30pm.

Former Coventry City manager Peter Reid will be joined by Susan Lea (Joe Mercer’s granddaughter), Graeme Sharp, representing Everton FC, Mike Summerbee, representing Manchester City, Mark Brindle, representing Arsenal, author Gary James and Ellesmere port Mayoress, CLLR Lisa Denson.

A number of footballers who played under Mercer are also expected to attend along with Darryl Pickering and Rob Gandy from Cambridge Road Primary School where a PFA plaque to another Ellesmere Port England star, Stan Cullis, was unveiled earlier this year.

In attendance on the day will be Mercer's granddaughter Susan Lea, who is "honoured" that a plaque is being erected for her grandfather.

Joe Mercer was born in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire on 9 August 1914. He won the league title as a player with Everton and twice with Arsenal and where he was also captain of the FA Cup winning team in 1950, a season in which he was voted Player of the Season by the Football Writers’ Association.

Mercer, a half-back, made five full and 27 war-time/victory appearances for England and captained his country. One of Mercer’s international team mates was Stan Cullis.

Mercer, who during WWII was a physical training instructor, played his final league match at aged 39 before becoming a manager at Sheffield United in 1955. In 1960 he helped Aston Villa to return to Division One and in 1960-61 his side won the League Cup. As manager of Manchester City from 1965 to 1971 he enjoyed great success winning the Second and First Division titles, the FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup-Winners’ Cup.

In June 1972, Mercer became general manager at Coventry City and in 1975 a director of the Club. In the summer of 1974, Mercer temporarily took charge of the England national team for six matches.

Mercer died in Ellesmere Port in 1990.

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