Former England forward Trevor Francis, Britain’s first one million pound ($1.28 million) player, has died at the age of 69 after suffering a heart attack, his family said on Monday.
Francis started his career at Birmingham City in 1970 before spells at several clubs, notably Nottingham Forest, Manchester City and Sheffield Wednesday.
Francis hit the headlines when he was transferred from Birmingham to Forest in 1979 for one million pounds, scoring the winner in that year’s European Cup final against Malmo.
“Trevor Francis has died at the age of 69. He had a heart attack at his apartment in Spain this morning,” a statement from his family released to British media said.
“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.”
Francis won 52 caps and scored 12 goals for England from 1977–1986.
“We’re saddened to hear about the passing of Trevor Francis…,” the Football Association said. “We’d like to pass on commiserations to all of Trevor’s family and friends.”
Francis won the European Cup in 1979 and 1980 and the European Super Cup in 1979 with Forest under Brian Clough. He also won the Coppa Italia with Sampdoria in 1984–85.
“Nottingham Forest is deeply saddened to learn the passing of two-time European Cup winner, Trevor Francis,” the Premier League club said.
“A true Forest legend who will never be forgotten.”
City also offered condolences to Francis’ family.
“Manchester City are deeply saddened at the passing of our former player Trevor Francis,” City tweeted. “Our thoughts are with Trevor’s friends and family at this difficult time.”
Francis also managed Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday, Birmingham and Crystal Palace.