SPORT: Football
Gordon Lee has died aged 87: the former Everton and Newcastle manager passed away in his sleep.

The Tof­fees con­firmed the sad news this morn­ing after Lee died peace­ful­ly in his sleep.

He was in charge of the club between 1977 and 1981, lead­ing them to a League Cup final, two FA Cup semi-finals and two top-four fin­ish­es in the Pre­mier League.

Lee pre­vi­ous­ly took charge of Port Vale, Black­burn and New­cas­tle, then had spells with Pre­ston, KR Reyk­javik and a jan­i­tor role at Leices­ter in 1991.

The for­mer full­back spent almost his entire play­ing career with Aston Villa.

Between 1955 and 1966 he made 142 appear­ances for Vil­la, scor­ing twice and win­ning the 1961 League Cup.

He fin­ished with a sea­son at Shrews­bury but only played twice before becom­ing a coach.

Lee’s first man­age­r­i­al job at Port Vale last­ed eight years and 258 games.

Graeme Sharp, who Gor­don brought to Ever­ton from Dum­b­ar­ton in 1980, said, “I will always be grate­ful to Gor­don Lee for bring­ing me to Ever­ton Foot­ball Club.

“He trust­ed me and gave me my start as a young foot­baller. Gor­don was instru­men­tal in my devel­op­ment and I always enjoyed meet­ing him lat­er in life.

“I am deeply sad­dened by his loss and extend my con­do­lences to his family.”

Kevin Rat­cliffe made his debut for the Tof­fees at Man­ches­ter Unit­ed in March 1980.

He added: “Gor­don loved giv­ing young play­ers an oppor­tu­ni­ty and I will always be grate­ful that he gave me mine at Everton.

“He was ahead of his time with some of his coach­ing meth­ods and with a bit more luck he would have brought hon­ours to the Club.

“He left his mark on Ever­ton and his pass­ing is very sad.”

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