Bolton Wanderers and the football world have lost another 1958er. Dennis Stevens, an inside forward for the Trotters, passed this morning at the age of 79.
Stevens spent nine years with Bolton, from 1953 to 1962 and amassed over 300 caps for Bolton, scoring more than 100 goals in that time. He was part of the 1958 FA Cup winning side that saw Bolton beat Manchester United 2-0 at the old Wembley Stadium in front of 99,750 fans. Nat Lofthouse was ultimately the hero for Bolton in that game, scoring for both goals (as he often would do).
Stevens played a key role in that game, starting the match in the number 8 kit. In that game, Bolton famously took on a Manchester United side still reeling from the Munich Air Disaster. Stevens was the cousin of United wing half Duncan Edwards, who had tragically lost his life in that incident. Just eight minutes into the match, Manchester United's number 11, Colin Webster, did not take kindly to something that Edwards said and flattened him. The referee didn't call anything and the two were made to shake hand and just get on with the game.
Stevens was born in Dudley, England in 1933. He was a Bolton youth before being called into the first team in 1953. Nine years later, he moved to Everton as cover for Bobby Collins, who left for Leeds United shortly after that. In 3 years, Stevens racked up 102 caps and 20 goals for Everton and helped them win the League Championship in 1963. Stevens spent the next five years between Oldham Athletic and Tranmere Rovers
He passed after a long battle with illness. He is survived by his wife Eileen and sons Gary & Julian.
Rest in peace, Dennis.