Mike Summerbee: 'Francis was an exceptional person and an exceptional footballer'

Mike Summerbee has paid a touching and emotional tribute to the late, great Francis Lee, describing the former City strike legend as both: ‘an exceptional person and an exceptional footballer.’

Tributes have been paid from across the footballing world following Monday’s very sad news of the passing of Francis who represented City with huge distinction both as a player in our golden period of the late 1960s and early 1970s and later as club Chairman.

Few knew Francis better than Mike, who played alongside him in that wonderful City side assembled by Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison as well as with England.

The pair were close friends for almost 60 years and reflecting on Francis’ life and enormous impact, fellow City legend Summerbee – now a Club ambassador – made plain his huge admiration for both the man and the player.

“He was an exceptional person; an exceptional footballer and he was the key to the door (to our success),” Buzzer reflected.

“He had an exceptional talent, and he had a big influence on the game of football both as a footballer and as a person.

“Francis believed in himself, and he was a great goal scorer, and he could turn a game.

“We always looked to Francis and he was just absolutely superb.

“He was a working-class lad who came from Westhoughton and was so admired by everyone.

“He was a very clever man and a very astute in business, but he never changed. He was Francis Lee.

“We’ve lost one of the nicest people you could possibly meet. As a footballer he was magnificent, as a Manchester City Chairman he was magnificent.”

Play the video to watch Mike’s tribute in full…