Former England footballer and coach Trevor Francis has died aged 69. He lived near Marbella, Spain, where he was one of the many English people who spent several months a year there. Death came from a heart attack. Purebred forward in various teams between England, Italy, Scotland and the United States. In 1979 he became the first English player to be bought for a million pounds by Nottingham Forest with whom he won two consecutive European Cups by scoring the winning goal in the 1979 final. He then played in Italy for Sampdoria and Atalanta from 1982 to 1987, winning an Italian Cup with the Dorians. For the Englishman, Trevor Francis was above all “a legendary footballer and an extremely kind person”. Francis was, the BBC recalls, ‘the man with a million pounds’, or the first English footballer to be sold for that amount, when he moved from Birmingham City to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest in 1979, and many are convinced he could have achieved even more than he did in football with fewer physical problems. “He was so fragile that he could break his foot standing up,” said Don Revie, the England coach who made him debut for the national team in 1977. But Trevor still showed who he was, think of the two European victories with Nottingham Forest, the first (win in the final against Malmö, 1-0 with his goal) just two years after that side’s promotion to the English top flight. In Italy with Atalanta and Sampdoria and the Dorians remember him very well, in fact he put on a show at Marassi along with Souness, the Scottish ex-Liverpool captain who had also chosen the Dorians cause. Trevor Francis made 52 appearances for England, scoring 16 goals, including two at the 1982 World Cup in Spain. In Italy he also played for Atalanta alongside Sampdoria, and Fabio Capello once called him ‘the strongest British player to have played in Italy’. By 1994, just before turning 40, he had retired and had made 632 appearances in professional leagues accompanied by 235 goals.
Goodbye Trevor Francis, a gentlemanly center forward with good feet