England news

Former Chelsea boss Sexton dies

November 25, 2012
By ESPN staff

Former Manchester United, Chelsea and England Under-21 manager Dave Sexton has died aged 82.

Former Chelsea, Man United and England Under-21 boss Dave Sexton has died aged 82
GettyImagesFormer Chelsea, Man United and England Under-21 boss Dave Sexton has died aged 82

Sexton enjoyed a long and successful managerial career, and won the FA Cup and Cup Winners' Cup during his seven-year tenure at Stamford Bridge.

He also had two stints in charge of England Under-21s, first leading the team to back-to-back European titles in 1982 and 1984 - during a 13-year reign which ended in 1990 - and then returning to the helm between 1994 and 1996.

His managerial career began at Leyton Orient and from there he moved on to Chelsea, before enjoying spells in charge of QPR, Man United, the England Under-21 team and Coventry.

The Football Association's director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking paid tribute to Sexton, and claimed he was up there with the top coaches England has produced.

"It is a sad day for English football," Brooking said. "Anyone who was ever coached by Dave would be able to tell you what a good man he was, but not only that, what a great coach in particular he was.

"In the last 30-40 years Dave's name was up there with any of the top coaches we have produced in England - the likes of Terry Venables, Don Howe and Ron Greenwood. His coaching was revered."

A former player with Luton, West Ham, Leyton Orient, Brighton and Crystal Palace, Sexton was awarded an OBE in 2005 for services to football.

In an official statement on Chelsea's website the club labelled him "one of the greatest managers" in their history, while two of Sexton's former players also paid homage to him.

Peter Bonetti, the club's keeper during the Sexton era said: "He was fantastic, I've got nothing but praise for him. He passed away peacefully last night. I've spoken to his wife and it's come as a complete shock because he was such a lovely man.

"Everybody loved him and everybody respected him here at Chelsea and he will go down in the club's history as being such a fantastic guy who brought us so much success. He was a football fanatic, it's so sad and I really can't believe it.

"Everything he did was fantastic, the fact we won the FA Cup in 1970 was a big memory."

Clive Walker added: "It is very sad news because he is the manager who brought me into the game. He was an inspiration to football in that period because of the way he coached which was totally different to how it had been the generation before.

"There was a legacy at Chelsea from his involvement and when he came to coach us kids as we were then, it certainly helped us a lot."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.