WE are sad to learn of the death of Wilf Carter, one of Plymouth Argyle’s greatest ever goalscorers, aged 79.The condolences of everyone at Home Park go out to Wilf’s family and friends.
Wilf, made 275 appearances between August 1957-March 1964, scoring 148 goals.
That tally, at a rate of nearly a goal every other game, places him behind only Sammy Black on the list of the club’s all-time top scorers.
Wilf came to Home Park in 1957 after failing to impress with home-town club West Bromwich Albion.
He scored 32 goals in his first season as a Pilgrim to top the Home Park goals charts and was the club’s leading scorer for the next five seasons.
He made history in 1960 when he became the so far only Argyle player to score five goals in a single Football League match, achieving the feat on December 27, when the Pilgrims beat Charlton Athletic 6-4 in a Second Division game at Home Park.
Wilf Carter liked getting his goals in groupings. He scored more hat-tricks than any other Pilgrim, with eight in total – seven league, one FA Cup – between 1957-1962.
Someone at Charlton must have upset Wilf big time as, not only was his five-goal haul against the Addicks, he also scored two hat-tricks against the same team, with all the three games coming in a three-year period.
Wilf will also be known for his part in one of the most unusual goals scored by Argyle.
It came in a 1961 League Cup fourth-round replay against Aston Villa at Home Park.
Having seen Villa goalkeeper Nigel Sims save a kick which the referee ordered to be retaken, Wilf rolled the ball forward a couple of yards for team-mate Johnny Newman to stride forward and crash home.
The penalty, which Newman reprised with Mike Trebilcock three seasons later, gave the Pilgrims a 2-0 lead, but Villa ran out 5-3 winners.
Wilf left Argyle for Exeter City in 1964 and ended his career with the Grecians.
WILF’S MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (+ 1 FA CUP) HAT-TRICKS
December 7, 1957, FA Cup v Dorchester (H) W 5-2
December 14, 1957, Third Division (S) v Coventry (H) W 4-0
February 15, 1958, Third Division (S) v QPR (H) W 3-1
October 18, 1958, Third Division (S) v Mansfield (A) W 4-1
October 3, 1959, Second Division v Charlton (H) W 6-4
December 27, 1960, Second Division v Charlton (H) W 6-4*
March 6, 1961, Second Division v Leeds (H) W 3-1
October 27, 1962, Second Division v Charlton (H) W 6-1
*scored 5 goals
ARGYLE’S TOP FIVE ALL-TME SCORERS
1 Sammy Black, 1924-1938 - 184
2 Wilf Carter, 1957-1964 - 148
3 Tommy Tynan, 1983-1985, 1986-1990 - 145
4 Jack Leslie, 1921-1935 - 136
5 Maurice Tadman, 1947-1955 - 112
ARGYLE’S LEADING SCORER BY SEASON
1957-58 Wilf Carter - 32
1958-59 Wilf Carter - 25
1959-60 Wilf Carter - 22
1960-61 Wilf Carter - 28
1961-62 Wilf Carter - 20
1962-63 Wilf Carter - 14