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Wilbur Cush

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Position Inside right
Born 10 Jun 1928, Lurgan (Northern Ireland)
Height 165 cm
Weight 73 kg
International Caps Northern Ireland: 26 full

Club From To Apps Goals Sold for
Leeds United 01 Nov 1957 01 Jun 1960 90 9  

Leeds Career League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other
Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1957 - 1958 21 3 1   0   0   0  
1958 - 1959 36 3 1   0   0   0  
1959 - 1960 30 3 1   0   0   0  
Total 87 9 3   0   0   0  

Jabba's Comments

Wilbur Cush spent most of his career in his native Northern Ireland with Glenavon and Portadown, picking up a variety of league and cup winners' medals. He was a versatile player, who played at half back and occasionally up front, and his skills were recognised at international level, with his debut coming at the age of 23 against England. Having joined Leeds in 1957, he took over from John Charles as club captain, and his international career reached a peak with his participation in the 1958 World Cup Finals. He returned to Northern Ireland in summer 1960, first with Portadown and then returning to Glenavon as a coach. He died in summer 1981.

Colin Barber says: I have a recollection of Wilbur Cush being a rather short man and playing at centre half while Jack Charlton a rather tall man played centre forward. Can anyone confirm this memory?

Bob Hanson says: Sorry, Colin Barber, you are wrong. Wilbur Cush was indeed a short man, but always played at right-half and always wearing number 4. I was at Elland Road a few years ago attending a wedding reception in the Captains Lounge where I saw a photograph of him displayed there. I am sorry to learn of his death from this profile. I do remember also that he lived on Whitehall Road, almost opposite Ringways Garage - the first house up the hill from the parade of shops there. Furthermore he had a very attractive dark-haired wife.(A young lad with raging hormones noticed these things).

John Reilly says: Apparently Wilbur Cush has relatives in Barrow-in-Furness ? I only learned of this since Peter Risdale's close association with the Barrow chairman. I don't know if any of this can be confirmed. It would be interesting to see if there is another link between Leeds Utd and Barrow.

Tony Dolan says: No, I didn't see him play but, obviously I know of him. I am originally from Barrow-in-Furness, now living in Manchester. My mother's maiden name was Cush and her father, Patrick Cush, was from Tyrone in Northern Ireland. There are still many of the Cush family in Barrow. If you go to the Pathe News new web site ( and key in Cush in the search, you will get information about Wilbur playing for Northern Ireland, and My uncle, Jimmy Cush from Barrow, escaping from a POW camp. Are we related to Wilbur? I don't know.

R McCoy says: when Wilbur retired he became a butcher in his native Lurgan. Perhaps his most famous match was for N Ireland against Wales when he marked the giant John Charles out of the game. That performance is a legend in N.Ireland

Oliver Burns says: Wilbur Cush from Lurgan, began his career with Lurgan Glenavon in 1947, while a player with Glenavon he represented N Ireland. Wilbur left it a bit late to go to England, this was around 1958. I seen Cush play for Glenavon from 1947 until I left for England in 1957,also see him play for Leeds. Cush died after a long illness in 1981, regarded by many Lurganmen as the best player to come out of the Town. Jackie Milburn described Cush as the best half-back in Britain and this was during his time with Glenavon.

Randie Cush says: Wilbur Cush is my uncle (Billy) as we called him. My father, his brother, is called Bobby and was 4 years younger. My dad is still alive and well and not connected to the internet but I can contact him and answer any questions you may have.

Tony Cally says: i remember a mid week game against man utd.both charlton brothers were ended in a 2-2 draw.One of the goals was quite freakish ,in as much big jack kicked the ball to clear and it hit wilber cush causing the ball to curve up in the air and into the leeds goal.Anyone else remember this?

Jonathan Gibson says: Wilbur (Billy) Cush is my mother's uncle. my granny is Beattie (Cush) Benson. Sister to Billy and Bobby. Unfortunately Wilbur died before i was born but i hear great things about him. I have a couple of uncles living in England. Maybe the Barrow-on-Furness relatives are Bensons?

Eileen Benson says: I am sitting here at home looking at a photograph of my uncle Wilbur Cush. My mum (Beattie) and Wilbur (Billy) were brother and sister. It is very unlikely that we have any relatives in Barrow-on-Furness. However, I will confirm things with my mum and let you know. I will also get answers to any questions you may have.

Denis J Casey says: I knew Wilber when I was a boy and watched him playing football for glenavon. He was a stocky player and was a great kicker of the ball. I had the opportunity of working with him in the early 70s when he was a butcher in Lurgan working for Joe Hobbs a butchers shop in the centre of Lurgan.

Tom King says: Re: what Tony Cally writes. I remember the incident he describes very well. In fact, until now I assumed that I was the only one on the planet who did remember it. The ball struck Cush on the back of the leg or on his backside (I was standing in the boys' enclosure)and sailed backwards in an extraordinary arc over Roy Wood's? head and into the Scratching Shed goal. It was probably JC who hoofed it into WC but it might equally have been Archie Gibson who was rather prone to that sort of thing.

David Phillips says: I saw Wilbur Cush play many times for Glenavon and Portadown. He was an outstanding player who was short and stocky and tough as teak. He played for Portadown on returning from Leeds. Wilbur's ability to jump early and 'hang' before heading the ball seemed to defy the laws of gravity. I have not seen any player - at any level - with his ability to do this. What a player; what a man; what a loss!

David Phillips says: Wilbur Cush was one of the best players ever to play for Northern Ireland of that there is no doubt. It is surprising there are not more accolades above from older LUFC fans! His style of play was what one would expect at Leeds. As the great Sir Stanley Matthews says on this website; 'When he tackled you it was like being hit by a tank'. Wilbur began his professionl career with Glenavon and linked well wit Jackie Denver. He moved to Leeds and after 3years returned to N Ireland to play some of the best football of his career with Portadown FC. As said above 'Billy' was ideally an 'old-fashioned' (largely defensive)right-half. Less than average height, stocky and barrel-chested, he was tough as teak. He had the uncanny ability to jump early and 'hang' when rising for defensive headers. In fact he seemed to defy Newton's laws on gravity. Never have seen a better aerial defender, at any level, since. What a man, what a player, what a loss!

Harold Harvey says: Billy Cush played left half for Glenavon before his transfer to Leeds. He played inside left for Glenavon when they became the first club outside Belfast to win the Irish League title. I remember as a teenager being very disturbed by his transfer to Leeds. The day he was transferred Glenavon beat Derry City (then an ILTeam) by 10 goals to 1. Yes ten. His best ever performance In my opinion in a Northern Ireland shirt was against Italy in the World Cup Qualifying round in 1957/58

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Did you see Wilbur Cush play? Did you meet him in a pub, go to school with him, decorate his house or buy a motor from him? If you've got any comments or stories about Wilbur Cush on or off the pitch, just fill in the form below and (provided they're not blatantly libellous) I'll add them to this page. And just a quick note to the spammers who try to add their links to this page by attempting to get round the client-side validation: don't bother - the server side does similar checks and throws your garbage straight into the bit bucket.

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