Former Oasis rocker Liam Gallagher recently took to his Twitter account and posted a tribute to the former Manchester City and England striker Francis Lee who sadly passed away after a long battle with lung cancer at the age of 79.
FRANNY LEE RIP LG x
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) October 2, 2023
His heartbroken family said that he would be ‘sorely missed’ after he passed away in the early hours of Monday morning.
Affectionately known as ‘Franny’, Lee was also a highly successful businessman and racehorse trainer. He became a multi-millionaire in his retirement thanks to the success of his toilet paper company which allowed him to take over as the majority shareholder at Man City in 1994, replacing Peter Swales as chairman.
It would be football that first brought Lee into the limelight though – including his unforgettable sending off after getting into a vicious brawl with Leeds United hardman Norman Hunter. He is considered as one of City’s all-time greats, Lee won the First Division, FA Cup, League Cup and a European Cup Winners’ Cup during eight years with the club.
He scored 148 goals in 330 appearances for Man City before spending four troubled years as chairman of the club in 1994 which did, at the time, tarnish his reputation. He had aimed to transform his former club into a Premier League outfit, but they were on the brink of relegation when he left in 1998.
The stocky forward also earned 27 England caps, scoring 10 goals in the process and he represented his country at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
‘Franny passed away in the early hours of this morning after a long battle with cancer,’ City said in a statement.
‘His wife Gill and children Charlotte, Jonny and Nik say he will be sorely missed and would like to thank everyone for their kind words.
‘Everyone at Manchester City would like to send their condolences to the friends and family of Francis at this very difficult time.
As a mark of respect, flags around the Etihad Stadium and City Football Academy are flying at half-mast.
‘More tributes will follow from the club in the coming days.’