Tributes pour in for Manchester City legend and former chairman Franny Lee

A City star who shone long before the team we know today.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 2nd October 2023

Tributes are being paid to Manchester City legend and former chairman Francis ‘Franny’ Lee CBE, who has passed away aged 79.

The ex-Man City, Bolton Wanderers, Derby County and England star is said to have passed away in the early hours on Monday morning, 2 October, following a long battle with cancer.

Speaking via a club statement, his wife Gill along with children Charlotte, Jonny and Nik said, “He will be sorely missed and would like to thank everyone for their kind words”.

Both Manchester teams led tributes to the British footballing legend, with avid City fan Liam Gallagher and countless others joining in paying their respects.

Social media has been filled with tributes following news of Franny Lee’s death.

Franny Lee scored 148 goals in 330 appearances during eight-year City, helping the club win multiple honours during their first periods of success, including the old First Division title back in 1968.


Born in Lancashire and starting out elsewhere in Greater Manchester at Bolton Wanderers, he also went on to play for Derby following his time with the Blues, helping the Rams to their second-ever title in 1975.

The striker also had 27 caps for England between 1968–1972, scoring 10 goals and winning FA Cup, League Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup and the Charity Shield twice at club level during that period.


Honouring their former centre-forward who went on to serve as Chairman for four years from 1994 onwards, the club statement read, “It is with the deepest sadness and heaviest of hearts we announce the passing of former Manchester City player and Chairman Francis Lee, aged 79”, adding that flags around the Etihad Campus are flying at half-mast.

Here he is speaking on his bond with fellow City legend Colin Bell, who died back in 2021.

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His first club, Bolton, said of the former marksman, “All at Bolton Wanderers are saddened to learn of the passing of former forward, Francis Lee. The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Francis’ family, friends and loved ones at this difficult time.”


As for legacy as for his time in Blue, the club had already planned to immortalise Lee prior to his death, announcing the erection of a statue back in May 2022, the reveal date of which will no doubt be moved up following his passing.

The club has also assured that “more tributes will follow in the coming days.”

Rest in peace to a legend.

Featured Image — Manchester City/England/Bolton Wanderers (via Twitter)