British soccer was rocked on Monday as news emerged that Trevor Francis had passed away at the age of 69.
Britain’s first one-million-pound player enjoyed a memorable career with Nottingham Forest, scoring the winning goal against Malmo in the 1979 European Cup Final.
He would miss the 1980 final a year later through injury, but would be considered one of the most important players in that glorious era in club history.
Francis’ family released a statement on Monday afternoon to the British press, confirming that the former footballer had died suddenly.
What exactly caused Trevor Francis’ death?
The aforementioned statement contained details of what caused the death of Trevor Francis, with his family confirming that the 69-year-old had suffered a heart attack.
“Trevor Francis has died at the age of 69. He had a heart attack at his apartment in Spain this morning,” the family statement read.
“On behalf of the family, this has come as a huge shock to everybody.
“We’re all very upset. He was a legendary footballer but he was also an extremely nice person.”
Francis remained popular in footballing circles up to his death, having forged a successful early career as a pundit on international football, paving the way for many other ex-professional footballers to succeed in the media field after he moved into another stage in life.
His professional career also saw him represent England on 52 occasions, scoring 12 goals between 1977 and 1986.
Tributes were paid throughout football on Monday, including from Francis’ former clubs.
He played for Birmingham City, Detroit Express, Manchester City, Sampdoria, Atalanta, Glasgow Rangers, Queens Park Rangers, Wollongong City and Sheffield Wednesday, although he is most synonymous for his time with Nottingham Forest.
“Nottingham Forest is deeply saddened to learn the passing of two-time European Cup winner, Trevor Francis. A true Forest legend who will never be forgotten,” read a Nottingham Forest statement.