Former England star forward Trevor Francis died on Monday at the age of 69 due to cardiac arrest in Spain, according to a family spokesman.
Trevor Francis was the first player to move to Britain for £1 million. He was also the scorer of the European Cup-winning goal for Nottingham Forest just months after joining.
The 69-year-old had a remarkable football career, starting with Birmingham City at the age of 16 and initially working as a player-manager with Forest, Manchester City, Sampdoria, Atalanta and Rangers before moving into management.
He won 52 caps for England, scoring 12 goals, and later led Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham to major home finals as a manager.
“He died in Spain this morning of a heart attack,” the spokesman said.
Former Forest teammate Peter Shilton was among the first to pay tribute.
The former England goalkeeper tweeted: “I am absolutely devastated to hear of the terrible loss of such a wonderful gentleman, friend and friend to my old teammate Trevor Francis.”
Forrest tweeted that Francis was “a true Forrest legend who will never be forgotten.”
A tweet from Birmingham City read: “Trevor will always be revered as a legend of the club, the player everyone wanted to see leave.”
Forest broke the British transfer record when they paid £1.15 million for him in 1979, although manager Brian Clough famously claimed the fee was £999,999 to ease the pressure on the player.
He won the European Cup a few months later, heading in the winner in a 1–0 victory over Malmö.
Francis missed the European Cup win over Hamburg a year later due to injury and joined Manchester City in 1981.
Spells at Sampdoria, where he won the Coppa Italia, Atalanta, Rangers and QPR, where he was player-manager, followed.
He moved to Sheffield Wednesday in 1990, before being replaced as manager by Ron Atkinson and taking them to the FA Cup and League Cup finals in 1993, losing both times to Arsenal.
He later worked at Birmingham and Crystal Palace.
Francis spent half the year in Spain and the rest near Birmingham. He had suffered a heart attack 11 years back and kept himself fit by power walking daily.
According to the spokesman, he had an annual health checkup through the League Managers’ Association and was “enjoying life after recovering from the death of his wife”.