Trevor Francis, who used to play for England and was Britain’s first $1 million footballer, died at age 69.
Trevor Francis, who used to play forward for England, died in Spain after having a heart attack at age 69.
When he went from Birmingham City to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest team in 1979, he became the first football player in Britain to be paid $1 million.
He won two European Cups with Forest, in 1979 and 1980. In 1979, he scored the game-winning goal against Malmo.
Francis also played for England 52 times and scored 12 goals before he became a manager.
“This has come as a huge surprise to everyone,” said a statement from his family. All of us are very upset.
“He was a famous football player, and he was also a very nice person.”
Francis lived in Spain for half the year and in Solihull for the other half. He had a heart attack 11 years ago. Since then, he has stayed in shape by going on daily power walks.
His health was checked every year by the League Managers’ Association, and his spokesman said that he was “enjoying life very much.”
Helen, Francis’s wife, died in 2017 after being stricken with cancer. They had been married since 1974, and together they had Matthew and James.
Francis was born in Plymouth and joined Birmingham as a schoolboy. In 1970, when he was 16, he made his debut for the Blues and was the club’s youngest player to do so until August 2019, when England and Real Madrid defender Jude Bellingham broke the record.
Francis went on to score 119 goals in 280 league games before making a historic move to Nottingham Forest to play with Clough.
After Forest won the European Cup twice, he went to Manchester City and then played for Sampdoria and Atalanta in Italy.
After a season with Rangers in Scotland, he joined QPR and became both a player and boss there.
Later, he did a similar job at Sheffield Wednesday. He helped them get to both the FA Cup and League Cup finals in 1993, which Arsenal won both times.
Francis stopped playing soccer in 1994, just before he turned 40. He had played 632 games and scored 235 goals.
Then, from 1996 to 2001, he was the manager of Birmingham. He led the Blues to the League Cup final in 2001, where they lost to Liverpool on penalties.
After he left St. Andrew’s, he spent his last two years as a boss at Crystal Palace.
He was also a commentator for Sky Sports and BT Sport.