In my selections, I’ve looked for the qualities a winger is expected to possess, namely; speed; trickery; crossing ability; entertainment value.
It is hard to look beyond our own era but, based on records and anecdotal comments one overheard as a child I have managed to include one player from before our time.
Here is the list:
Stan Matthews, the wizard of dribble; great crosser of a leather ball, played into his 50’s.
Cliff Bastin began as a teenager in Arsenal’s first team; England cap as a teenager, goalscorer and provider for Ted Drake.
George Best, entertainer extraordinaire, capable of mazy dribbles, cheeky goals and courageous as hell!
Cliff Jones, Speedy, direct, fearless, considered the best winger in the country in his day.
Charlie Cooke, mesmerizing dribbler; cheeky, brave and yet a complete team player.
NO Tom Finney who I consider to be a better centre forward than winger!
I did consider Oldham’s Rick Holden, who, in a newspaper piece to consider Football’s best left footer was placed in the final 5 by one football journalist.
I’d like to point out my list contains an Englishman; a Scot; a Welshman and an Irishman, as well as right footers; left footers and two footed players.
I didn’t deliberately set out to represent the British Isles but I was alive to selecting right and left footers.