Skip to main content
Published 24 July 2023 3 min read
England Men's Senior Team

Trevor Francis: 1954-2023

Written by:

Nicholas Veevers

Remembering the former England striker after the announcement of his passing

We’re saddened to hear about the passing of former England men’s senior player Trevor Francis.

The former Birmingham City, Nottingham Forest, Manchester City, Sampdoria, Glasgow Rangers, Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday striker won 52 caps for the Three Lions, scoring 12 goals.

Among his career honours, Francis won the European Cup on two occasions with Forest, picked up a League Cup title with Sheffield Wednesday, a Coppa Italia medal with Sampdoria and enjoyed Scottish League Cup success with Rangers.

Born in Plymouth, Francis left his hometown in Devon to start his career as a schoolboy with Birmingham City, where he made his debut at the age of 16. He went on to spend nine years and make almost 300 appearances for Blues and score over 100 goals at St. Andrew’s.

His form there saw him catch the eye of England boss Don Revie and Francis made his debut in a 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands at Wembley on 9 February 1977, becoming the 926th player to represent the Three Lions.

He then became the first player to be transferred for a fee of £1m in 1979, when the reigning First Division champions Nottingham Forest took him across the Midlands.

And he soon began to repay Forest’s faith in him by scoring the winning goal for Brian Clough’s team in the UEFA European Cup final against Malmo just a few months after signing.
Trevor Francis, pictured in 2015, at a film premier in Nottingham around Forest's European Cup success
Trevor Francis, pictured in 2015, at a film premier in Nottingham around Forest's European Cup success
Forest went on to retain the European Cup the following year, as well as lifting the European Super Cup in 1979 before Francis moved on to Manchester City in 1981.

After missing out on the 1980 European Championship Finals due to injury, he was an important figure in the England team at the 1982 World Cup when he scored in group stage games against Czechoslovakia and Kuwait.

His final appearance on the international front came on 23 April 1986 when he played in a 2-1 victory over Scotland at Wembley in the Rous Cup.

Following playing spells in Italy and Scotland before returning to England, Francis moved into management, initially on a temporary basis with Queens Park Rangers.

A switch to Sheffield Wednesday as a player followed in 1990, when he was a part of the squad who helped the Owls to the League Cup title that season, before he replaced Ron Atkinson as a player-manager a year later and he was among the list of managers to take charge of clubs in the first-ever season of the Premier League.

Further roles saw him return to Birmingham City for a five-year spell at the helm and then Crystal Palace between 2001 and 2003.

We’d like to pass on commiserations to all of Trevor’s friends and family at this sad time. The FA will commemorate his career at a forthcoming England fixture.