Sad news today that Macclesfield Town Manager Keith Alexander has passed away.
A sudden and untimely death at just 53 years old.
He took charge of his last game just last night as Macclesfield played at Notts County.
Alexander who has suffered previous health problems, in 2003 whilst manager at Lincoln City he was rushed to hospital with a cerebral aneurysm but made a full recovery and was back in work within three months.
Almost exactly a year ago before Macclesfield's game with Bournemouth he was taken to hospital after feeling unwell and was given a brain scan, he was given a full clean bill of health and the illness was attributed to a 'bug' going round at the ground.
Alexander earned the reputation of a manager who could maximise working with a shoestring budget, he transformed Lincoln from a struggling outfit to play off contenders in each of his four seasons there. He also had spells at Peterborough and Bury before becoming Macclesfield Town manager in February 2008. He was rewarded with a two-year contract for keeping the club in the League and again sustained the Silkmen's status in the 2008-09 season.
His first managerial appointment in 1993 at his first spell in charge of Lincoln saw him become the first black professional manager. He also had spells at Ilkeston and Northwich before returning to Lincoln as assistant to Alan Buckley in 2001 before taking full charge again in 2002.His playing career saw him play for Grimsby, Stockport, Lincoln, Mansfield and Barnet playing until almost 40 years of age. He was also capped by St Lucia 3 times in the early 90s.
Will England show a tribute of some form tonight for Keith Alexander, who knows? There should be a minutes silence for him or blackarmbands and a reminder that away from the greedy league the heart and soul of football should matter. It would be a nice fitting tribute. *edit I hear they will, so fair play! *
''The perfect manager for a club like ours. He was totally pragmatic about managing in League Two and the constraints involved.'' - Macclesfield chairman Mike Rance
"He was a larger than life character - an honest man, a splendid man and he will be missed by people in all walks of life. He was an absolutely superb human being. - Macclesfield Assistant Manager Gary Simpson
"He will be sorely missed by the LMA, its members and the whole of the football community. Keith was an active member of the LMA and our projects with The Prince's Trust in particular, and his contribution to the well-being of the game is widely acknowledged.
"He was a champion of civil rights and equality issues and was also active in the Black Coaches Association." - League Managers Association Chairman Richard Bevan
"It is devastating news. You won't find a more dedicated man at any club, non-league or League."
He added: "It is terrible news for everybody in football and everybody who knew Keith because he was a real genuine guy." - Peterborough Director of Football Barry Fry