FORMER Worcester City goalkeeper Derek Dudley has died at the age of 47.

The ex-Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion custodian had been battling a terminal liver illness and passed away at home in Rugeley, Staffordshire on New Year’s Eve.

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

Drafted in by then-City boss Phil Lines, he 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.

A benefit match for Dudley’s family between Romulus Veterans and Midlands Legends, which City’s joint-boss Lee Hughes played in, raised more than £8,000 in November.