NEW: The man who scouted Peter Ndlovu is no more

30 Nov, 2021 - 15:11 0 Views
NEW: The man who scouted Peter Ndlovu is no more

The Sunday Mail

JOHN SILLETT, the coach who scouted Peter Ndlovu before his official signing from Highlanders by Terry Butcher in July 1991, has died.

Ndlovu would go on to make history on August 19, 1992 when he became the first African footballer to play in the new English Premier League.

Sillett, who guided Coventry City to FA Cup victory in 1987, has died aged 85.

He managed the Sky Blues between 1986 and 1990, and was at the helm when the club beat Tottenham 3-2 in the final at Wembley for their first major trophy.

As a full-back, he began his career as a player at Chelsea and made more than 100 appearances for the club, winning the First Division title in 1954-55.

He played for Coventry and Plymouth Argyle before moving into management.

“Obviously the family are really saddened by dad’s passing but we are all so proud of him and what he achieved,” a statement from Sillett’s family said.

“His ability to spot things tactically, change them during a game and enhance the abilities of players was top class, the respect he had from top people in the game and the kind words we have already received already underline the high regard in which he was held by the football world.”

George Curtis, who was joint manager at Coventry alongside Sillett during the 1987 season, died in July this year aged 82.

In a statement, Coventry City described Sillett as an “icon” and said the club were “devastated” to learn of his death.

“Snoz’ will forever be loved and remembered by Sky Blues fans and all who met him, who will remember a larger-than-life character who loved football and Coventry City.”

Former Coventry goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic, who played for the Sky Blues from 1984-2000 and was part of the 1987 FA Cup-winning team, told BBC:

“He was one of those people who whenever he entered a room, he lit it up with his charisma and personality.

“He was great fun to be around, he told some brilliant stories, very humorous and he’ll be greatly missed.

“He was a great believer in round pegs in round holes and he just made players feel far, far better than they actually were.”

Howard Wilkinson, chairperson of the League Managers’ Association, said: “I have been privileged to have known John for many years. He was a genuine, well-meaning gentleman, greatly admired throughout football for his honesty and professionalism.

“Football has lost a great servant and our thoughts and condolences are with John’s family and friends at such a sad time.” – Online Reporter/BBC

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