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Trevor Francis, Britain’s FIRST £1 million player dies aged 69

Trevor Francis, Britain’s first ever £1 million player has sadly passed away at the age of 69 after suffering a heart attack at home.

Trevor Francis made his way into professional football via Birmingham City’s youth academy in 1969, making his debut first team appearance in 1970 at the ripe age of 16.

Trevor Francis Birmingham city
A 17-year-old Trevor Francis with Birmingham City in 1971. Image credit: Birmingham City FC

In his 280 appearances for the blues, Francis netted 118 goals, including perhaps the side’s most famous goal against Queens Park Rangers in 1976 – a 25 yard shot released after having been driven backwards by 2 defenders which surprised the off-guard goalkeeper.

Alongside Birmingham City, Francis has also lent his talents to the likes of Nottingham Forest, Rangers, Man City, Sheffield Wednesday, and QPR to name a few.

He also enjoyed time honing his talents abroad, playing in Italy, Scotland, Australia, and the USA over a 16-year-long career in which his goal tally reached over 230 league goals.

Unsurprisingly, his talent did not go unnoticed by his nation, with Trevor Francis being called up for England duty between 1977-1986, earning 52 caps and scoring 12 times.

He ended his playing career in 1994 whilst at Sheffield Wednesday, going on to become manager for QPR, Sheffield Wednesday, Birmingham City, and finally Crystal Palace until 2003.

Trevor Francis England 1982
Trevor Francis representing England in 1982. Image credit: National Football Museum

Francis became Britain’s first £1 million player in 1979, when Brian Clough bought him to Nottingham Forest to help them achieve back-to-back European Cups.

News has now emerged that the English footballing legend has sadly passed away aged 69, following a heart attack in his home in Marbella.

Trevor Francis Brian Clough
Trevor Francis with Nottingham Forest legend Brian Clough, who made him Britain’s first £1 million signing. Image credit: The Irish Times

A statement from his family read: “Trevor Francis has died at the age of 69. He had a heart attack at his apartment in Spain this morning. On behalf of the family, this has come as a huge shock to everybody. We are all very upset. He was a legendary footballer but he was also an extremely nice person.”

Several of Trevor Francis’ close friends within the sport have taken to social media to voice their shock and sadness at his sudden passing, including Gary Lineker, former teammat Viv Anderson, and former ITV presenter Gary Newbon.

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We’re sure that the footballing world at large will join us in offering our condolences to Trevor Francis’ family and take a moment to reflect on his impact both on the sport and the world outside of it.