By John Ensor •
Updated: 24 Jul 2023 • 23:24
Early days at Birmingham City.
Credit: Birmingham City FC Newa/Facebook.com
Trevor Francis, the first British footballer to be sold for £1 million, has died today aged 69.
It was announced on Monday, July 24, that the history-making football legend, Trevor John Francis has died at the age of 69 at his apartment near Marbella, Spain, writes Nottinghamshire Live.
He will be known to many as the first British footballer to be sold for £1 million following his transfer from Birmingham City to Nottingham Forest in 1979.
During his professional playing career, which spanned an incredible 24 years, he represented Birmingham City, Nottingham Forest, Manchester City, Sampdoria Rangers, QPR and Sheffield Wednesday. He also scored 12 goals in the 52 games he played for England.
He made his debut for Birmingham City at the tender age of 16. He seemed destined for great things when at the age of 17 he scored four goals in one match against Bolton Wanderers. In his first season, he had notched up an impressive 15 goals from just 22 games.
In 1979 he joined Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest for the then record-breaking fee of £1 million. The actual amount was £1,150,000, at the time this was an astonishing figure, the previous record was less than half that amount.
Francis proved he was worth the money by scoring the winning goal against Malmo, which secured Nottingham Forest’s back-to-back European Cup victory in 1979.
Later Francis also went into football management and went on succeed Ron Atkinson at Sheffield Wednesday , leading them to third place in the FA’s First Division.
The English Premier League have also paid their tributes to the football icon.
Following today’s sad news former colleagues have shared their memories. Former ITV presenter and friend, Gary Newbon said: ‘This is obviously a terrible shock for Trevor and his family and friends.
‘He was revered throughout football and has his place assured in the history of the game. But he was also an incredibly kind and popular man, who will be greatly missed by so, so many people.’
One Nottingham Forest fan paid his respects on social media: ‘I’ve had to have a sit down hearing this. I idolised Trevor Francis before he joined Forest just from his column in my football comic. I couldn’t believe it when he joined #NFFC and what a story. Rest well TF.’
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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