Today we remember a Manchester City great...

Following the sad news of Francis Lee’s passing, we opened an online book of condolences which allowed fans to send their memories and pay their respects for our former player and Chairman...

We were overwhelmed by the response, with thousands of messages flooding in after the book was opened.

Part of a golden generation that won the First Division, FA Cup, League Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Francis held a special place in the hearts of City fans.

He is, undoubtedly, one of City’s greatest ever players.

Below are a selection of tributes from our fans. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

Leighton Fisher: Throughout my life as a through and through City fan, you heard three names that instilled pride in you: Bell, Summerbee and Lee. Absolute class. Rest in peace Franny and thank you for everything you have done.

Angie Hurcomb: Dearest Franny, I became a City fan in the 60’s and have stayed loyal because you and Colin showed me how great the Club is and I thank are a true Legend. RIP.

Peter Winter: 1968/69 as a 10-year-old watched City on a reel movie beat Leicester (FA Cup) in the middle of Durban, South Africa and my mind was made Man City was the team! Go City and RIP Franny. 

Lisa Leeming: I’m lost for words what a legend he was. Magical in every sense. A true blue with amazing skills I wish I’d seen him play for real that would of been a dream. Our club is built on legacy and yours will be there forever. Sending my deepest condolences to all his family all I can say right now every blue will be holding you to carry your heavy hearts.

Paul Murray: On behalf of my late Father and myself I would like to say that Franny brought so much joy, happiness and pride to our lives. You were a truly great footballer and sportsman, representing not only Manchester City and Derby County but also England. Your skill, energy and sheer enthusiasm will be treasured and remembered forever. Condolences to your family and friends. Thank you for the memories. 

Carl: An outstanding player who lifted your heart when he had the ball at his feet. I will always remember his dribbling, penalty taking and big smile. A true City great. My condolences.

Lionel Oliver: As a kid standing in the Kippax watching Bell, Lee and Summerbee. Magical days, Magical players, wonderful statesman of our great club, always to be remembered, along with their fantastic team mates. You will always be remembered Francis.

Joanne Barrie: Our Dad loved watching you. Then me and my sister Julie got to welcome you home to Maine Road as Chairman. Thank you for many years of service and happy memories to treasure x

Mike: Legend is an often misused word…. Not in Franny’s case….. one of the best. RIP Franny…. You did soooo much for our beloved Manchester City as player, Chairman and ambassador. We shall be always grateful. My condolences to your friends and family.

Philip Hutchings: Franny is the sole reason I support Manchester City. It’s all due to a set of football cards in January 1970. Francis was a wonderful player, and he was integral to the Club’s huge successes in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.

Julian Barrett: Was lucky to sit on the white wall at the front of the Kippax at the age of six and be memorised by his skill, his goals and commitment to never to give up. Was privileged to meet him at the training ground. What a gent. Never forgotten. 

Francis Moore: My name changed the season we bought Franny and so did City’s fortunes. Proud to be known as Franny and prouder to have been a City fan since 1966 and to have seen Lee, Bell, Summerbee and the boys too. 

Alexius: The first autograph I ever received came from a letter I sent as an 11 year old to Francis Lee and resulted in a lifelong appreciation of him and City. Even supported Derby County temporarily in his time there ! A true legend. 

Mike Thompson: God bless Franny Lee. My childhood hero. Bubble gum football cards at the age of seven. Legend who loved his club. Always there for the fans. Remember the good times. Much love to his family and close friends.

Thomas Douce: My condolences to Mr Lee’s family. I started supporting Manchester City because of the famous “Ballet On Ice” game. Although Colin Bell was, and still is my all time City player, the admiration I had for Mr Lee will always endure, particularly his bravery and never say die attitude. 

Paul Woolfenden: Thank you for your service to football and my club, Man City, in particular. You brought joy to tens of thousands of people during your playing time and brought a semblance of business integrity as our Chairman. Having done so much work in your lifetime may you rest in peace. 

Steve Tiley: You were my boyhood hero and a big reason why I’m a life long City fan. I hope you enjoyed your ride. Thoughts to family.

John Grogan: Sending my deepest of condolences to Francis Lee’s family. As a life long city fan of 64 years, Franny Lee was an idol of mine through my childhood. I will remember you for ever for all the memories you gave me may you rest in peace God bless.

Tracy: I can still remember the excitement as a child walking to Maine Road anticipating Lee heading straight for goal. A legend along with Bell and Summerbee. Worth the two hour wait for kick-off stood in the Kippax. RIP our Franny. 

John Dunne: My sincere condolences to Franny’s Family. He was a legend when I was a very young boy and he achieved so much with the blues, it was great that he saw his beloved club achieve so much in later life.

Dave Strahand: As a young supporter standing for hours outside the front door at Maine Road, Franny Lee was always kind and had time for you. A little dynamo on and off the pitch, always great to watch his energetic burst into to the box and often see him taken down by a defender for a pen. They just couldn’t handle him.

Winston: I remember Franny Lee playing for City at the old Maine road ground. What a player he was and also seeing the artic lorries haulage drivers with the logo F.H.LEE ltd blue and white colours, couldn’t miss them. People knew who it was. A great privilege to watch a fantastic player. You’ll always be a legend, Franny. 

Mark Ridings: I was lucky enough to meet Franny as both a fan and in business, he was a true gentleman in every sense and was my sporting hero and gave me some of my most memorable times with my late father. Rest in peace and my thoughts are with his family and the whole of the City faithful, we truly have lost one of our legends. Love to all x

Keith Bailey: A very sad day for all supporters of Manchester City, and especially for his family. I watched Franny score lot’s of goals (and penalties) from the Kippax, and even saw him arrive at the ground in a lorry, a great character and one of the famous three, Bell, Lee, Summerbee. God Bless you Franny, and my sympathies go out to his friends and family.

Graham Aggett: What can I say about Francis Lee (Franny) this man is the main reason for me supporting MCFC back in the late 1960s. Living in Devon 10 years old and listening to football on my radio and always hearing about Franny scoring goals and helping City alongside Bell and Summerbee and the rest of the team I will be travelling up for the Brighton game to pay my respects to a true city legend. 

Rosemary King: Franny Lee was my hero and was the main reason I started supporting City so many years ago. I loved watching him play at Maine Road week after week alongside my mum and two brothers. He was a magic mover and wonderful to watch. Rest in Peace Franny. 

Manchester City fans in Vietnam: It’s so sad to hear that Man City Legend Francis Lee passed away at the age of 79. We - a small group of Man City lovers from Vietnam - would like to send our deepest and most sincere condolences to everyone of his family and all his loved ones. RIP!

David Thomason: My all time favourite player, from boy to man. My first hero and legend, one of the true greats and my first experience of loss when you went to Derby, I cheered when I heard you’d scored against us. RIP Franny, a sad day indeed, my sympathies to the Lee family.

Mark Walker: When Franny left for Derby I, to my shame, became a Derby fan! This lasted only three months before I could not carry on as I am a blue to the core. However, there is only Franny that could ever make me consider leaving my beloved City. Such was the man to me, CTID RIP Franny x

Tahir Awan: I was nine years old in 1970 when I started supporting City. Francis Lee was an established member of the team and he was one of my heroes growing up. I absolutely loved him to bits, his personality, his playing style and his feisty nature. I was so sad to see him leave when he did and then score that ‘interesting ‘ goal for Derby. I was so happy to see him return as Chairman and turn our fortunes around. I will really miss him . Many many condolences to the Lee family.

Tony Eaton: Francis Lee shared the same birthday as my dad. We took my dad to Maine Road for his 50th, and he was thrilled to meet one of his heroes. Francis was a true gentleman, and I know that memory stayed with my dad. A City legend on and off the pitch who will be sorely missed. 

Tom Potts: I watched the whole of your City career from the Platt Lane and I would just like to thank you for all the wonderful memories you gave us. When you signed we knew we would win the league. A standout player in a great team.

Hilary Beattie: I grew up watching you, Colin Bell and Mike Summerbee and as good as the team is today, you were all my heroes and I loved standing on the Kippax with my Dad watching you. RIP

Gaynor Cavanagh: I wasn’t privileged to see Francis play live, I was too young, but I was honoured to know him when I worked at Maine Road. His infectious sense of fun, warmth and love for our club will always stay with me. Always with a twinkle in his eye, he was a true legend. Rest in peace Francis, and thank you for everything xx

Tom Doyle: Rip Mr Lee. I will never forget getting a detention for getting you and Mike Summerbee to sign my exercise book when you opened our school sports hall. Fantastic footballer, incredible gentleman.

Maureen Molloy: RIP Franny Lee what a player what a man. City through and through. I was at Newcastle when we won the league, at Wembley when we won the FA cup and Vienna on that rain soaked night winning again. Franny at the heart of things. My condolences to his family and friends God bless.

Pete: Franny played for City in the first game I saw ( FA Cup versus Reading ) I remember him hitting the woodwork with a shot from wide on the right. Unfortunately, the game ended goalless. I spoke with him in the nineties and he couldn’t recall the shot but remembered the replay at Reading ( which we won 7-0 ) of course he would! He was definitely my favourite player of that era , and I always felt for him during his time as Chairman when the performances on the pitch didn’t match his or our expectations. My thoughts are with his family and those closest to him.

Bill Douglas: Having followed City from the late 1950s and experiencing the rising from the ashes, memories come flooding back from the Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison era. Quite often great games and great players, Francis Lee is definitely one of those, a brave, skill full 100% City hero. It is with tears we have to say farewell thank you Franny.

David Hutchinson: Thanks Franny for all the wonderful moments you and the team provided. You will always be a legend at City and in the history of football.

Phil Davies: I have been a City fan for 54 years. Franny Lee was my first City hero and so will always be my all time favourite player. The late 1960’s/early 1970’s were a golden age and he played a huge part in that. He’s gone but never forgotten.

Andrew Moore: Rest in peace Franny, you will always be remembered as one of the greatest players ever to wear our beloved sky blue. A legend in every sense of the word.

Michael Gorman: Francis was one of the best footballers I’ve had the honour to have watched he gave us all a memory we will never forget. Our deepest condolences to the Lee family. May his gentle soul rest in the arms of the angels.

Emma Jeffries: RIP Franny Lee, a true city legend. I love listening to my Dad’s stories about what a magnificent footballer you were! Forever in the blue boys history. Thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. Watching from the stand in the sky. 

Ian Mottram: I watched Francis Lee when I was a child in the late 1960s. His brilliance along with Colin Bell and Mike Summerbee made me a life long supporter. Many years I said hello to Francis as he was driving through Manchester, like the true gentleman he was, he waved and said hello. A true Man City legend, thank you for the wonderful memories.

Andy Brierley: My second ever game I saw Franny score the winner against Luton in the cup and was my hero from then on RIP LEGEND.