Former Chelsea manager John Neal has died, with the London club paying tribute to him as the man who helped to keep the club afloat.
Neal (right) passed away on Sunday at the age of 82, after a long career in football which took in Hull, Swindon, Aston Villa and Southend as a player and Wrexham, Middlesbrough and Chelsea as a manager. "Chelsea Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing of John Neal, one of the most significant and loved managers in our history," the club confirmed.
Appointed by Chelsea in 1981 as successor to Geoff Hurst, Neal prevented the Blues from slipping into the Third Division and in 1984 guided them to the Second Division title. He had to stand down in 1985 due to heart surgery and was appointed to the club's board of directors. He never managed again, but Chelsea still fondly remember his efforts.