Former Manchester City and England striker dies aged 79
Francis Lee, Former England and Manchester City striker has died aged 79 after a battle with cancer.
Lee won two old First Division titles, scored more than 200 career goals and represented England 27 times, scoring 10 goals, in a 17-year career.
Lee started his career at Bolton, scoring 92 goals in 182 games, before moving to City for a then club-record £60k. He would help the club win the First Division title in 1968, as well an FA Cup (1969) and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970.
He was City’s top scorer for five consecutive seasons from 1969/70 to 1973/74, winning the club’s Player of the Year award in 1970 and the 1971 Golden Boot award.
Lee would move to Derby in 1974 and help the club to win the First Division title that year, scoring 12 goals in the process – including the winner against City.
After retiring from playing in 1976, Lee went into business and famously employed the comedian Peter Kay in his toilet roll factory.
He became chairman of City in 1994 but resigned four years later with the club on the brink of relegation to the third tier of English football. In 2016, Lee was appointed a CBE for his services to charity and football.
A City statement said: “Franny passed away in the early hours of this morning after a long battle with cancer. His wife Gill and children Charlotte, Jonny and Nik say he will be sorely missed and would like to thank everyone for their kind words.
“Everyone at Manchester City, would like to send their condolences to the friends and family of Francis, at this very difficult time. “As a mark of respect, flags around the Etihad Stadium and City Football Academy are flying at half-mast.”
Bolton posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: “All at Bolton Wanderers are saddened to learn of the passing of former forward, Francis Lee.
The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Francis’ family, friends and loved ones at this difficult time.”
Former Manchester City striker Paul Dickov also posted on X: “Such sad news to hear of the passing Francis Lee. A gentleman, proper football man with a great sense of humour.
“The main reason I signed for Man City with his sheer love for the club & will be forever grateful. Love & condolences to all his family & friends. RIP Mr Chairman.
Source : All Football