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.
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.
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)
Manchester Storm offering cut-price tickets for blockbuster quarter-final against Sheffield
Local ice hockey starts Manchester Storm are taking a hit to their own pocket in an effort to help fans get to as many games as possible this winter by offering cut-price tickets to their upcoming Challenge Cup quarter-final on Thursday, 7 December.
As their exciting 2023/24 campaign continues, the Storm have found themselves amidst a run of home games in the space of a week and besides the test the players are now facing, they also know it presents a challenge to Manchester ice hockey fans who want don’t want to miss any of the action.
That being said, as they prepare to face league leaders Sheffield Steelers in the quarters this week in Altrincham, the Manc skaters have decided to reduce the cost of tickets across the board to pack out their barn as best they can.
It’s sure to be an electric night and a busy month at the Storm Shelter.
With the big fixture looming, the Trafford-based team are looking to continue their impressive turnouts so far this year and this cut-price rate will certainly help keep that trend going.
Notching the price of adult admission down by a fiver to just £18, the concession prices to just £15 and children tickets to a mere tenner for this highly-anticipated match-up, the Storm Support will no doubt be in full force even on a random Thursday night.
General sale is never that expensive to begin with and the local venue has been one of the most affordable and accessible places to watch live sport in Greater Manchester, but discounts like these make it an even better way to spend an evening midweek.
The home team head into the Challenge Cup quarter-final against the high-flying Yorkshiremen following a 4-3 loss to the Glasgow Clanand will face off against the Fife Flyers just two days later before back-to-back away trips to Belfast in the league on 15 and 16 December.
In just 10 competitive games across all competitions at home this season, Manchester Storm have welcomed over 18,700 supporters through the doors of the Storm Shelter, a.k.a. Planet Ice over in Alty.
With two sellout games already this campaign and plenty of others close to capacity no matter the day of the week, their 60% increase in season ticket sales alone shows just how fast the fan base is growing.
Doors for Storm vs Steelers this Thursday, 7 December open at 6:30pm with the face-off set for 7:30pm — let’s get behind our lads, you lot!
Club de Padel – The world’s fastest-growing sport is finally coming to Manchester this month
The world’s fastest-growing sport is finally about to arrive in Manchester – and in a seriously impressive location.
Club de Padel is taking shape at the foot of the Deansgate Square skyscrapers and has officially locked in a launch date.
With four state-of-the-art panoramic courts, the new sports club will be bringing the global sports phenomenon to the city centre for the first time.
It will also have one of the city’s most popular brunch spots and coffee shops, Federal, on site to provide caffeine, snacks, and a selection of drinks in the evenings.
For those unfamiliar, Padel is a mash-up of tennis and squash, where players are enclosed by walls and can play the ball off any wall.
The sport was first invented in Mexico in the late 1960s but has exploded in popularity across Europe in recent years, drawing legions of famous fans.
Andy Murray, David Beckham, Pep Guardiola and Serena Williams have all declared themselves fans, and Lionel Messi went so far as to install a Padel court at his home.
Co-founder James Wigglesworth says: “We can’t get over the support we’ve had from the city so far, our inbox hasn’t stopped with people asking when we’re opening, when they can book, how they can learn to play – it’s been great.
“We’ve also discovered a hardcore element of ‘paddicts’ who travel miles every week to play and are just delighted that we’re landing on their doorstep.”
Club de Padel is partnering with Adidas and HEAD on its equipment and will have one of the UK’s top padel competitors, Alberto Cubero Torregrosa, as head coach.
Alberto said: “I can’t wait to get started at Club de Padel. Having grown up in Malaga, I have been playing padel for over 25 years, so I’m delighted to see it finally arrive in Manchester, where I now call home.
“It is important to me that everyone can enjoy this amazing sport, so it doesn’t matter if you are a complete beginner or an experienced player, I am committed to helping you improve and have fun while doing it.”
Club de Padel will officially open its doors on Tuesday 19 December, with bookings open from 5 December for Padel+ members and general public bookings from 12 December.