IN PICTURES: Fans leave heartfelt tributes to Trevor Francis outside Birmingham City FC
Fans of former Blues player Trevor Francis have been leaving tributes outside Birmingham City football club all week long.
Trevor Francis sadly passed away on Monday 24 July, and fans have been visiting St Andrews – the home of Birmingham City FC – and paying their respects to the legendary footballer.
Trevor Francis died aged 69 in Marbella, Spain.
A spokesperson for Birmingham City FC issued a statement following the sad news: “Birmingham City Football Club is deeply saddened and shocked to learn of the passing of club legend Trevor Francis, at the age of 69 on Monday 24 July 2023.
“Trevor will forever be revered as a giant of the Club, the player everyone wanted to see. He represented Blues on 330 occasions, scoring 133 goals.
“Birmingham City sends its thoughts and deepest sympathies to Trevor’s family and friends.”
Francis played for Birmingham City for almost a decade before making footballing history to become the first player to be transferred for £1million in 1979 which saw him move to Nottingham Forest.
In later years he returned to his former club as manager and took Birmingham City to the League Cup Final where Liverpool won on penalties.
The news of the death of the legendary player left football fans in shock and people have travelled far and wide to St Andrews – where Francis made his professional debut at the age of 16 – and left poignant and heartfelt tributes.
An area outside the football ground has been set aside for fans to lay their wreathes and pay their respects to a player considered to be one of the best ever in the club’s history.
Fans young and old have been leaving all sorts of memorabilia outside the football ground to honour Francis. There’s a whole range of tributes to Francis including t-shirts with messages written across them, wreathes, candles, football fanzines, scarves, caps, framed photographs, cards, balloons and art.
Someone has even knitted a cute woollen doll of Francis.
One particularly emotional tribute consists of a framed photograph of Francis meeting a father with a little daughter in London’s Leicester Square a day after the iconic footballer’s 69th birthday last year. The heartfelt caption under the photo describes Francis as a “lovely person, a gentleman, a hero, and a football legend who touched the hearts of thousands”.
Some of the people who visited the shrine to Francis were members of a group of local faith-inspired volunteers from Small Heath who call themselves the Waste Warriors and conduct litter picks around Birmingham parks and streets, including the area immediately outside St Andrews.
The team are Blues fans, and when they heard about the passing of Francis they were left in shock.
However, despite the sad news, they take solace in the inspirational legacy left behind by Francis.
Ali Akbar, team leader of the Waste Warriors, told I Am Birmingham that Francis was a gifted player and an influential figure beyond the football pitch: “Trevor would stay behind after matches and help out. He’d get a broom and assist the cleaning staff to clear up litter off the terraces.
“He was a humble man, loyal and true, someone kids could look up to as a role model.
“He will continue to inspire us.”
IN PICTURES: Tributes to Trevor Francis outside St Andrews