John "Clarkie" Souza, a striker on the United States soccer team that stunned England in the 1950 World Cup, has died.
He was 91.
Souza resided in York County for two different stretches, including the past decade.
Souza died Sunday, daughter Martha confirmed to the U.S. Soccer Federation on Tuesday.
Souza made 16 appearances for the U.S. team from 1947-54, scoring his only two goals in consecutive games against Mexico and Cuba in September 1949. He also competed in the 1948 Olympic Games. He was best known for his exceptional ball-handling skills.
Souza and his 1950 World Cup teammates were inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1976. Their legendary 1-0 victory over England later inspired a book, "The Game of Their Lives," which was made into a 2005 movie, "The Miracle Match," starring Patrick Stewart and Gerard Butler. The win over England was considered one of the greatest upsets in sports history.
Souza was honored locally at a special party during the 2010 World Cup when he was a resident of Rest Haven York. He was nearly 90 at the time.
Souza recalled growing up in Fall River, Mass., then a soccer hotbed in America. His parents slaughtered pigs for a living, and in lieu of a regulation ball, he and his five brothers would take a pig's bladder and wrap it in paper, cloth and string. That turned out to be the start of a Hall of Fame soccer career.
During that party in 2010, Rest Haven residents got to watch the movie about Souza and his U.S. teammates, with several visibly enthused they had a former World Cup participant in their midst.
"It's something I never expected," Souza said of playing in the competition.
Souza wore his red National Soccer Hall of Fame jacket while he watched the film.
Souza was selected to the 1950 World Cup All-Star Team. He was the only American selected to a World Cup All-Star Team until 2002.
The U.S. team was ousted in 1950 after losing 1-0 to Italy, a game in which Souza got injured and the team had to play without him. Substitutions weren't allowed back then. They also lost 5-2 to Chile.
"We were tied, 2-2, and then they scored three goals in eight minutes," Souza recalled.
As for the movie, Souza said Hollywood took its typical liberties with historical events.
"It's a bunch of lies. They made us look like little kids playing against giants," he said with a laugh.
But maybe one part of the movie is right. When Souza's character appeared on screen, some coaches and players talked about his skills.
"Clarkie Souza ... he's a magician with the ball," a player said.
Souza served in the U.S. Navy in World War II aboard a ship in the South Pacific.
He's scheduled to be buried April 13 in the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.
Andrew Shaw contrib uted to his report.