Football legend left only £30k estate

IN an age when footballers earn tens of thousands of pounds a week, a former top-flight player who lived in Suffolk left an estate worth just £30,000, it has emerged.

IN an age when footballers earn tens of thousands of pounds a week, a former top-flight player who lived in Suffolk left an estate worth just £30,000, it has emerged.

Ex-England and Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Ted Ditchburn, who lived in Wickham Market near Woodbridge, died on Boxing Day aged 84.

Mr Ditchburn, who was regarded as one of the greatest goalies in post-war Britain, was left with less than many Premiership footballers get paid in a week.

John Elsworthy, who played for Ipswich Town between 1949 and 1964, said: “It's ridiculous really. I played against Ted and he was one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. To think he got such a paltry sum and was left with so little money is a real shame.


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“I think today's footballers realise how lucky they are when it comes to their wages and I wish them no malice or ill feeling because they have such a short career and offer the public so much entertainment - as we used to do 40 odd years ago.”

Mr Ditchburn, who left the bulk of his estate to his wife of 62 years Joan, earned £3 a week in 1939 when he signed for Tottenham, going up to £12 in 1948 - the year of his England debut in a 6-0 win against Switzerland.

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He helped the White Hart Lane club win the Second Division title in 1949/50 and the First Division the following year.

Mr Ditchburn was known for his partnership with former Ipswich Town manager Sir Alf Ramsey.

Despite having lost a large chunk of his career to the War, he went on play more than 400 games for Tottenham before retiring after breaking his finger in a game against Chelsea in 1958.

He spent the last five years of his life in Wickham Market where he lived with his wife in Churchill Crescent. Their son Robin lives in Rendham.

A villager, who declined to be named, said: “His funeral was attended by a lot of his fellow footballers and they were discussing the difference with the footballers of today.

“They compared the money footballers earn now with the money that Ted earned when he was in his prime.”

Mr Ditchburn opened a sports shop in Romford and then ran a newsagent's close to White Hart Lane before his retirement.

David Beckham (£17m)

Ronaldo (£13.3m)

Zinedine Zidane (£8.8m)

Christian Vieiri (£8.1m)

Alessandro Del Piero (£6.5m)

Frank Lampard (£6.4m)

Raul (£6.3m)

Thierry Henry (£6.2m)

John Terry (£5.8m)

Luis Figo (£5.7m)

All figures are per year and include earnings through advertising and sponsorship deals.

Source: France Football

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