MEMBERS of Aston Villa’s 1982 European Cup-winning squad will be star attractions at a benefit match for ex-Worcester City goalkeeper Derek Dudley.

The ex-Villa and West Brom stopper, who remains a respected figure on the non-league circuit, has been diagnosed with a terminal liver illness at the age of 47.

Gordon Cowans, Tony Morley, Nigel Spink, Pat Heard and Peter Withe will be present with the latter taking charge of a Midlands Legends team against Romulus Vets.

The match forms part of Dudley’s bucket list with Villa favourites Julian Joachim, Darren Byfield, Lee Hendrie and Tony Daley set to be joined on the pitch by past Baggies stars Richard Sneekes and Bob Taylor.

Admission is £3 for adults and £1 for children at Coles Lane, Sutton Coldfield on Sunday, November 19 (10.30am) with a sporting memorabilia auction being held at nearby pub The Yenton afterwards.

Word has quickly circulated around the semi-professional circuit with City’s joint-boss John Snape, a former team-mate of Dudley’s, quick to encourage fans to flock to the event.

“I played with Derek at Stourbridge and Halesowen Town under Stewart Hall,” said Snape.

“We won the league at Stourbridge in 1991 and he moved on to bigger and better things. The last time I saw him was a couple of years ago when Carl Heeley and I invited him to return to the club as goalkeeping coach.

“At the time, with his work commitments and where he lived, he did not think it was viable to give his all and that is the sort of bloke he is, he didn’t want to mess us around.

“He was a go-to man because he has always been very professional in his approach and a good person to have around.

“Richard Evans at Romulus got in touch about the fundraiser. Personally and on behalf of the club I would like to send my best wishes to Derek and his family and would encourage everyone to get to the game.”

Alongside Snape, Dudley formed part of Stourbridge’s 1991 Southern League Midland Division championship-winning side before switching to St George’s Lane.

The keeper was drafted in by new City boss Phil Lines, a summer recruit himself from Southern Division champions Buckingham Town.

Dudley was sorely missed during an early-season injury as Worcester failed to back up their opening-day 6-2 league victory over Gravesend with another league win until mid-October.

The number one would go on to make 49 appearances in a campaign that saw City miss out on an FA Cup tie at West Bromwich Albion having lost 2-1 in the final qualifying round at home to Marlow.

Dudley then made 10 appearances in the turbulent season that followed as City changed manager in a bid to remain in the Southern League Premier Division. He joined divisional rivals VS Rugby.

Torquay United, Telford United, Halesowen Town, Bromsgrove Rovers all appear on Dudley’s CV and more recently, he served Romulus and Heather St Johns as goalkeeping coach.