Blues Legend Passes On After Battle With Most cancers
Former Manchester Metropolis striker, chairman and membership legend Francis Lee has sadly handed away on the age of 79. Lee, who signed for a membership report payment from Bolton Wanderers in 1967, had fought a protracted battle in opposition to most cancers, a battle which he misplaced in the present day.
The previous Metropolis star was an integral a part of the trio that had been Lee, Bell and Summerbee which led Metropolis to their second league title in 1968. Lee scored in a dramatic closing day 4-3 win at Newcastle and would additionally rating within the European Cup Winner Cup closing in opposition to Gornik Zabrze to assist Metropolis declare their first European trophy.
A Legend Arrives
The phrase legend is banded round far too simply in in the present day’s trendy recreation, however within the case of Lee, it’s one which’s absolutely justified. Arriving from Bolton for a membership report payment of £60,000, Lee made an instantaneous affect. He made his Metropolis debut on 14th October 1967 in a 2-0 victory at dwelling to Wolves, and scored his first objective for the membership only a week later, as Metropolis beat Fulham 4-2 at Craven Cottage.
Throughout his seven-year spell with the blues, Lee would assist Metropolis win the 1969 FA Cup closing in opposition to Leicester Metropolis and, only a season later, scored Metropolis’s second objective in a 2-1 win over Polish aspect Gornik to assist the blues declare European Cup Winners Cup in Vienna. In the identical season, Lee and Metropolis additionally introduced the League Cup to Manchester.
In 1974, Lee left the blues to affix Derby County and helped the Rams to win the First Division title in his first season. The striker additionally made 27 appearances for England, scoring 10 targets.
Lee was a no-nonsense striker who beloved a very good derby. Till 2013, he held the report for probably the most derby targets with ten, three of these coming in a 4-1 win at Outdated Trafford in 1970, the final participant to attain a derby hat-trick till Andrei Kanchelskis in 1995. Lee truly scored the right treble of left foot, proper foot, header in that recreation.
Watch Franny Lee rating his excellent hat-trick at United in 1970.
From Striker to Businessman
After his taking part in profession ended, Lee moved into paper manufacturing. In precise reality, Lee based his firm in 1966 and maintained the enterprise all through his taking part in days so as to have one thing to fall again on when he ultimately retired from the sport.
His enterprise ventures made him a millionaire and his firm, F.H Lee continued to thrive till it was bought in 2003.
His love for Metropolis remained lengthy after his retirement and in 1994, with Metropolis struggling within the newly shaped Premier League and critical underinvestment within the workforce by then chairman Peter Swales, Lee turned embroiled in a bitter energy battle for the membership. The Ahead with Franny motion had made a considerable bid to take the membership out of the palms of Swales, who had been a goal for supporters anger for the reason that mid-eighties.
Lastly, Lee received the battle for Manchester Metropolis and took the reigns from Swales. His first match as chairman welcomed Ipswich to Maine Street. Ian Marshall gave the Tractor Boys the lead within the sixteenth minute, however Carl Griffiths equalised quarter-hour later. Garry Flitcroft scored for the blues 19 minutes from time to offer Lee a profitable begin to his reign.
Sadly, it wasn’t to final and Lee stepped down as chairman 4 years later, though he retained a share of the membership after stepping down, however later bought these to Thaksin Shinawatra in 2008.
In 2016, Lee’s soccer and charity work was recognised as he was awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace.
Francis Lee – 1944-2023 – Relaxation in Peace, Legend