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Tributes paid to former Wales, Burnley and Swansea winger Leighton James | Soccer



Tributes paid to former Wales, Burnley and Swansea winger Leighton James | Soccer

The previous Wales winger Leighton James has died on the age of 71.

James’s former golf equipment Burnley and Swansea – the place he spent 13 years of a vibrant 19-year senior profession – had been amongst these to pay tribute to a gifted participant who received 54 caps for his nation.

“We’re sorry to listen to the information of Leighton’s passing,” the Burnley chairman, Alan Tempo, mentioned of James, who had three spells at Turf Moor and scored 81 targets in 399 appearances for the Clarets. “He left an indelible mark on this soccer membership and tales of his enjoying expertise nonetheless echo round Turf Moor. Our ideas are together with his household at this unhappy time.”

Swansea-born James made his Burnley debut in 1970 – his tempo and trickery rapidly making him a followers’ favorite – earlier than becoming a member of Derby for a then membership report charge of £310,000 and having a one-season cease at QPR. James returned to Burnley in 1978 earlier than becoming a member of his hometown membership two years later and serving to their rise in to the outdated First Division underneath John Toshack.

“Swansea Metropolis is deeply saddened to study of the passing of Leighton James,” learn a membership assertion. “The gifted winger, extensively considered one of many Swans’ most interesting gamers, was a key determine within the facet that secured a primary ever promotion to the highest flight in 1981, scoring a shocking objective within the victory over Preston at Deepdale to finish the membership’s rise.

“He went on to star the next marketing campaign as John Toshack’s facet took the combat to the elite of English soccer, ultimately ending sixth within the First Division. The ideas of everybody at Swansea Metropolis are with Leighton’s family and friends at this unhappy time.”

After three years at Swansea, James went on to play for Sunderland, Bury and Newport County earlier than taking his profession full circle with a 3rd spell at Burnley.

James’s 10 worldwide targets included the matchwinning penalty in opposition to England within the 1976-77 British Dwelling Championship – Wales’s solely ever victory in opposition to their neighbours at Wembley.

The Soccer Affiliation of Wales posted on X: “It’s with nice unhappiness that we share the information that Leighton James has sadly handed away. Amongst his most well-known moments with the dragon on his shirt was scoring a penalty in a well-known win over England at Wembley in 1977. He was a star of the one Cymru crew to prime a qualifying group earlier than occurring to achieve the quarter-finals of Euro 1976.”

James held numerous teaching positions in south Wales after his enjoying profession and labored within the media, the place he developed a status as a forthright columnist and pundit. Burnley and Swansea have confirmed they’ll put on black armbands of their respective matches in opposition to Sheffield United and Huddersfield on Saturday as a tribute to James.

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