A FORMER Wrexham player whose determination saw him overcome a serious injuries in later life has passed away in South Africa.

Stephen Ingle, known as Steve, played 149 times for Wrexham between 1967 and 1972, had tested positive for coronavirus after struggling to breath over the weekend.

The 74-year-old passed away in hospital on Wednesday (December 16).

He had overcome injuries from a devastating fall in the 1990s that saw him stay in hospital for six months. But he never used a wheelchair and was back on his feet. Testament, his son Steven says, to his determined character.

Steven said: "He did have fond memories of Wrexham. He would often talk about playing, he seemed to talk about Wrexham more than he did about Bradford."

"It was popular in the 70s for UK footballers to go out and play in South Africa for a while. So he went out with a couple of his mates, and ending up marrying my mum and staying over there."

"He had an accident in 1995. He fell down a lift shaft and was in hospital for about six months. He's struggled with pain since then, but he got through it. He was a tough man. He walked again, he was never in a wheelchair. He always got on with it."

The Leader:

Steve Ingle during a visit back to Wrexham

Speaking about his dad, Steven added: "He was a good man, my dad. People knew him as grumpy. He trod on toes, he was an individual, and he was definitely one of a kind. He was hard to get along with, but if you knew him he was a gem.

"You don't come across many characters like him, so it was good to have him as a dad.

Born in Bradford in 1946, he began as an apprentice at Bradford City before turning professional in 1964.

As well as playing for Wrexham, he played for Stockport County, Southport and Darlington before finishing his career in South Africa with Arcadia Shepherds.

Wrexham fans still have fond memories of the tenacious full back, and he appears in the book Racecourse Robins: From Adams to Youds - A Who's Who of Wrexham Association Football Club by Gareth M Davies and Peter Jones.

Mr Ingle lived in Pretoria, working as a technician for elevator companies Otis and Schindler, before moving to the village of Sedgefield on the Western Cape with his wife Alfie.

Steve and Alfie had two sons Steven and Gareth, and Steve leaves another son Mark from his previous marriage. He also leaves three grandsons.