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“Rest in Peace” – Thousands Join Manchester United & Legends in Mourning Tragic Loss of 79YO Manchester City Icon

Published 10/03/2023, 6:30 AM EDT

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Rivalries are on the pitch with respect coming to the fore before and after the final whistle. Manchester is a city divided, but tragedy for the blue half saw the red half pay tribute to a man who held the Manchester Derby goal-scoring record. This striker did just what Aguero did in 2012; albeit 44 years earlier and not in such dramatic circumstances

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Fiercely nicknamed ‘Lee Won Pen’ back in the day, every opposition had to be on their toes throughout the game. The former striker was a significant part of the Cityzens, helping them to win numerous accolades in Britain. He scored tons of goals all around his career, starting from Bolton to a significant spell at Manchester City and closing the curtain at Derby. Already a club legend, he was one of the names behind moving the Cityzens from Maine Road to the City of Manchester Stadium, now known as the Etihad Stadium during his tenure as Chairman.

Manchester City legend bids adieu to the world at the age of 79


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Francis Lee commenced his professional journey at Bolton, where he made his breakthrough at the age of 16 in 1959. He went on to net 106 goals in 210 appearances during eight seasons with the club before making a notable transfer to Manchester City for a then-club-record fee of $70,000. During his illustrious eight-year tenure with City, Lee tallied an impressive 148 goals in 330 matches. He contributed significantly to the club’s acquisition of numerous prestigious titles, including the old First Division championship in 1968.

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In his time at City, he also clinched an FA Cup, a League Cup, the European Cup Winners’ Cup, and the Charity Shield twice. Subsequently, after his prosperous stint with City as a player, Lee assumed the role of chairman at the club in 1994 for four seasons. Simultaneously, he also managed several flourishing business ventures.


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In 1974, Lee joined Derby, where he registered 30 goals over two seasons before ultimately announcing his retirement. His presence was instrumental in helping the Rams secure their second league title in 1975. Notably, on the international stage, Lee earned 27 caps for England and scored 10 goals.

Meanwhile, a multitude of fans, teams, including Manchester United, and legends of the beautiful game came together to pay tribute to the memory of this iconic player on X.

Thousands join Manchester United and legends in condoling

It was revealed he passed away in the early hours of the morning after a prolonged battle with cancer. “Everyone at Manchester City would like to send their condolences to the friends and family of Francis at this very difficult time,” read a statement on City’s official website.

On social media, Manchester United joined other EPL clubs and thousands of fans who paid tribute to the legendary player. Moreover, some revered legends also expressed their condolences.

City’s arch-rivals paid their respect.

Lee’s former club Derby County had a special message in the form of a video. He moved to Derby in 1974 and helped the club win their First Division title that year. He scored 12 goals while doing so.

Bolton, where it all began, gave their tribute. With the Bolton, he had scored 92 goals in 182 games before moving to City.

Leeds United also paid their respects.

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer had a message for Lee.

Another Manchester City legend, Vincent Kompany hailed his former team’s icon.

Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler also joined in paying condolences.

Meanwhile, fans also didn’t hold back their grief to see Lee leave the world.

A fan had a special memory of Lee.


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Indeed, these reactions stand as powerful testimonials to the lasting impression he left on the world of soccer. RIP, Francis Lee.

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Written by:

Abhishek Mishra


One take at a time

Abhishek Mishra is a soccer writer at EssentiallySports. Abhishek's love for soccer began during his childhood days when he spent most of his time playing and watching the sport. His early exposure to soccer earned him many accolades at district and zonal levels, making him a true sports enthusiast.
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Edited by:

Sreeda U M