• By Paul Lagan

Justin Edinburgh dies aged 49

Leyton Orient manager Justin Edinburgh died on Saturday following a cardiac arrest.

Edinburgh is seen pictured right with Chertsey Town manager Dave Anderson in the Wembley mixed zone ahead of his play-off final three weeks ago.

He went up to Anderson, whose side had won their play-off final match and wanted to shake his hand. He said: "I'm hoping for get a bit of good luck off you."

However Orient went on to lose their game.

The club has issued the following statement.

It is with profound and utmost sadness that Leyton Orient announces its manager Justin Edinburgh has passed away.

Justin suffered a cardiac arrest last Monday and passed away on Saturday.

“We are completely heartbroken by this tragedy”, said Orient chairman Nigel Travis. “All our thoughts and love are with the Edinburgh family and we know from the messages that have flooded into the Club over the last week that the wider football world will share our sentiments.

“The success that Justin brought to Leyton Orient was incredible, but more importantly the impact he had on us all as a winner and a wonderful, inspirational human being will be his legacy and will stay with us forever.”

Edinburgh, 49, joined the O’s as Head Coach in November 2017 and, having secured a mid-table finish in his first season, went on to lead the Club back into the Football League as National League champions in 2018/19.

Having started his playing career at Southend United, where he made 37 appearances and helped the club win promotion from Division Four, he was transferred to Tottenham Hotspur in 1990 and went on to make 215 appearances, scoring once and being part of both FA Cup and League Cup winning sides during a decade at White Hart Lane.

Three years at Portsmouth followed before the Basildon-born full-back returned to Essex to end his playing career as player manager of Billericay Town between 2003 and 2006.

His next stop was Fisher Athletic, who he steered to promotion in his first season, before spells as assistant manager at Grays Athletic and Woking.

In February 2009 he was named manager at Rushden & Diamonds after originally joining the club as assistant but left for Newport County after the Diamonds went into administration.

Justin led Newport to promotion from the Conference Premier via the play-offs and also to the final of the FA Trophy.

After Gillingham agreed terms with Newport for his services, he moved to the Kent club for two years before a brief spell at Northampton Town in 2017.

But it was at Orient, in what turned out to be his final managerial position, that Justin enjoyed his biggest success, winning 45 and drawing 21 of his 82 matches in charge of the club and securing the National League title and a return to Wembley for the FA Trophy Final.

All our thoughts are with Justin’s wife Kerri and their children Charlie and Cydnie at this very sad time.

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