Trevor Francis, a former England forward who became Britain’s first one million pound soccer player when he moved to Nottingham Forest from Birmingham in 1979, has died. He was 69.
Francis died in Spain after a heart attack, his family said Monday. He spent half the year in Spain and the rest in England.
Shortly after his record move to Forest, he headed the winner in the 1-0 victory over Malmo in the 1979 European Cup final. Francis missed the European Cup final win over Hamburg a year later because of injury and joined Manchester City in 1981.
Francis made 52 appearances for England’s national team and later guided Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham to major finals as a manager.
Francis made his playing debut for Birmingham in 1970, aged 16. In 1971, he became the youngest player to score four times in Football League history in a 4-0 win over Bolton.
Spells at Sampdoria, where he won the Italian Cup, Atalanta, Rangers and Queens Park Rangers — where he was player-manager — followed. He moved to Sheffield Wednesday in 1990 and eventually replaced Ron Atkinson as manager.
Francis’ wife Helen passed away in 2017 after a battle with cancer.
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