Special stamp celebrates Wirral-born soccer legend Joe Mercer

Wirral Globe: Special stamp celebrates Wirral-born soccer legend Joe Mercer Special stamp celebrates Wirral-born soccer legend Joe Mercer

Joe Mercer’s distinguished football career has been celebrated on a special stamp marking the centenary of his birth.

The Wirral-born soccer legend - whose alleged team talk to an England squad was: “Go out and enjoy yourselves” – is one of 10 ‘remarkable’ people, all born in 1914, to be honoured by the Royal Mail.

The Remarkable Lives issue commemorates individuals who have made a major contribution to British society Joe played club football with Everton and Arsenal and won five full caps playing for England.

His management career included spells at Aston Villa and Manchester City.

He was also interim manager of England for a brief spell in 1974.

Voted Footballer of the Year in 1950 he was awarded an OBE in 1976.

Launching the stamps in Joe’s hope town of Ellesmere Port, local MP Andrew Miller said: “The Joe Mercer stamp is a fitting tribute to a local son of Ellesmere Port who made his mark both on and off the football field.

"He is worthy of the Royal Mail tribute.”

Throughout a 50 year career in football Joe Mercer was recognised for his charm, sporting values and good humour – and his soccer skills.

During the Second World War he was a physical training instructor and participant in British Army football across Europe.

He won three championships medals, and FA Cup winners medal as well as five full and 22 wartime international caps.

Joe was the son of a professional footballer and joined Ellesmere Port FC as a teenager.

He spent his retirement in St Margaret’s Road, Hoylake and died in the town in August 1990.

In July 2009 he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in the National Football Museum in Preston.

The set of 10 “Remarkable Lives” also includes:

• Sir Alec Guinness and Kenneth More -stage and screen actors.
• Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet and writer.
• Barbara Ward, economist, broadcaster and pioneer of global environmental issues.
• Noorunissa Inayat Khan, British Special Operations Executive in Nazi occupied France during WW2.
• Max Perutz, molecular biologist and Nobel Prize winner 1962.
• Roy Plomley, broadcaster and writer.
• Joan Littlewood, theatre director and writer.
• Abram Games, War Office poster artist and pioneering graphic designer.

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