Mel Charles, Welsh footballer, Died at 81

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Melvyn “Mel” Charles was born on May 14, 1935, and died on September 24, 2016.

He was a Welsh international footballer.

Charles was the brother of all-around player John Charles and father of former Wales international Jeremy Charles.

Mel was like his brother, he could play as both a centre-half and centre-forward, though his preferred position was at right-half.

Following a short stint on the Leeds United ground staff, he turned professional with his local club, Swansea Town, in 1952.

Charles spent seven years in the Second Division with the club, before he won a £42,750 move to First Division Arsenal in March 1959.

Mel’s three seasons at the club were plagued by injury, and in February 1962 he was sold on to Cardiff City for a £28,500 fee.

Charles spent three years with Cardiff, winning the Welsh Cup in 1964, his only domestic honour, before he joined Porthmadog in the Welsh League in 1965.

Charles spent a brief period in the Fourth Division with Port Vale in the 1966–67 season, before he returned to Welsh football with Oswestry Town.

Mel Charles joined Haverfordwest in 1967, where he spent five years before he retired from the game.

Charles scored a total of 122 goals in 401 league and cup games in the Football League.

Mel captained Wales at international level.

His autobiography, entitled In the Shadow of a Giant, was released by John Blake Publishing in 2009.

During March 1958, Charles married Vera (surname unknown).

Mel’s brother John Charles was unable to attend the wedding as he was in Italy at the time.

Which was a triple wedding, as Swansea teammates Don Pearson and Jeff Rees also married their partners in the same ceremony.

During September 1959 Vera gave birth to a son, Jeremy, who went on to play for Swansea and Wales himself.

Together they also had a daughter, Catherine.

In 1972, the couple divorced, though remained good friends.

Mel Charles passed away at 81 years old.