Tributes paid to former Bristol City coach John Sillett who sadly passed away at 85

John Sillett (L) was part of a football family with his brother Peter (R) and Charlie also footballers. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)John Sillett (L) was part of a football family with his brother Peter (R) and Charlie also footballers. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
John Sillett (L) was part of a football family with his brother Peter (R) and Charlie also footballers. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) | Getty Images
John Sillett spent six years at Bristol City, working closely with legendary manager Alan Dicks

Tributes have been paid to former Bristol City coach John Sillett who has passed away aged 85.

After a playing career with Chelsea, Coventry City and Plymouth Argyle, he was appointed as youth coach at Bristol City, managing them for two years, where he took them to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals.

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He later was promoted to first-team coach and played a part in setting the foundations for the Robins side which won promotion to the top flight in 1976.

Sillett would miss out on seeing them play in the First Division as he would take charge of Hereford United in 1974, managing them for four years, winning the Third Division title in the same year City were promoted.

His crowning achievement came when managing Coventry, he led them to FA Cup glory in 1987, beating Tottenham 3-2 at Wembley Stadium.

A statement released by the family read: “Obviously today the family are really saddened by Dad’s passing but we are all so very proud of him and what he achieved.

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“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 the top people in the game and the kind words we have received already underline the high regard in which he was held by the football world.

“He lifted people with his smile and wit, he always looked at life with a happiness which was highly contagious. The smiles he put on everyone’s faces was never false, he loved Jean, his wife, all his children and grandchildren and those he will be desperately missed, his spirit will stay with us forever.”

A statement from Bristol City read: “Bristol City is saddened at the passing of former coach John Sillett. Our thoughts are with John's family and friends at this difficult time.”

As well as City, the League Managers’ Association’s chairman Howard Wilkinson added: "I have been privileged to have known John for many years.

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"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."

His father Charlie, was a one-club man at Southampton, and served the Royal Navy during World War Two, making up a part of a football family.

Brother Peter, also played for Southampton like his father, but later moved to Chelsea, where the two brothers played up until 1962.

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