Former Chelsea manager Dave Sexton dies, aged 82

Former Chelsea and Manchester United manager Dave Sexton has died, aged 82.

Sexton led Chelsea to victory in the 1970 FA Cup and then to the European Cup Winners' Cup title in 1971.

He went on to coach the England Under-21 team between 1977-90, leading them to successive European titles in 1982 and 1984, and again from 1994-96.

Analysis

Dave Sexton was one of the great elder statesmen of English football - both an innovator as a coach and a success as a manager.

He is best remembered for leading Chelsea to FA Cup victory against Leeds United in 1970, following it up by securing the European Cup Winners' Cup against Real Madrid the following season.

Sexton came close to arguably his greatest triumph in 1975/76 when he almost brought the title to Queen's Park Rangers, only to be narrowly pipped by Liverpool.

A quiet, modest man who was regarded as one of the game's great thinkers, Sexton took Manchester United to the FA Cup Final in 1979, where they lost to Arsenal and his acumen and wisdom was utilised by the FA and a succession of England managers in his later years, leading the Under-21 team to back-to-back European titles in 1982 and 1984.

Chelsea held a minute's applause in tribute to Sexton before their Premier League match against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

"It is a sad day for English football," said Football Association director of football development, Sir Trevor Brooking .

"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."

Former England captain Ray Wilkins played under Sexton at Chelsea, Manchester United and for the England Under-21s.

He said: "Dave gave me my debut at Chelsea and was not only a fantastic coach, but a quality bloke.

"He was such a decent man and I'll miss him greatly."

Another former England captain, Alan Shearer , also played under Sexton for the Under-21s.

He told BBC Sport: "Dave was definitely a respected figure in English football and it's a sad loss."

Sexton began his managerial career at Leyton Orient in 1965 but it was during that seven-year spell with Chelsea that he made his name.

He won the club's first FA Cup trophy with a 2-1 replay victory over Leeds at Old Trafford after the first match had ended in a 2-2 draw at Wembley - David Webb scored the winner in extra time after Peter Osgood's late equaliser had cancelled out Mick Jones's goal for United.

A year later, Sexton's Chelsea lifted the European Cup Winners' Cup - Real Madrid were the opposition and Ignacio Zoco's last-minute goal cancelled out Osgood's opener, leading to another replay.

Again, Chelsea triumphed 2-1 with Osgood and John Dempsey scoring before half-time.

Sexton's managerial career

  • Leyton Orient: (1965)
  • Chelsea: (1967-74) - FA Cup 1970, European Cup Winners' Cup 1971
  • QPR: (1974-77)
  • Manchester United: (1977-81) - Charity Shield 1977 (shared)
  • England U-21: (1977-90) - European U-21 Championship 1982, 1984
  • Coventry: (1981-83)
  • England U-21: (1994-96)

Chelsea released a statement saying they "would like to express our enormous sadness and send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dave Sexton. Sexton is without doubt one of the greatest managers in Chelsea history".

He left Chelsea for QPR in 1974 and led the west London team to their best league finish of second in the 1975-76 season, one point behind champions Liverpool.

The club said on Twitter:  "QPR is desperately saddened to learn of the passing of former R's manager Dave Sexton. The club would like to extend its deepest condolences to Dave's family and friends at this sad time. May he rest in peace #RIP"

In 1977, he moved to Manchester United but was sacked in April 1981 after four years without winning a major trophy at Old Trafford - although he did win his final seven games in charge.

He ended his full-time managerial career at Coventry in 1983 but continued his England Under-21 coaching in a part-time capacity.

Sexton was awarded an OBE for his services to football in 2005.