GRAYS Athletic football club has expressed its condolences to the family of former manager Justin Edinburgh, who died yesterday (Saturday, 8 June) aged 49, – five days after suffering a cardiac arrest.
The former Tottenham left-back – spent a decade playing for Tottenham, making 258 appearances and winning the FA Cup in 1991 and League Cup in 1999 before moving to Portsmouth. He had started his career with Southend United.
After his playing days ended he cut his managerial teeth at Billericay in 2003 and went on to manage a number of non-League clubs, including a spell as Grays manager during the 2007/8 season.
His first significant managerial breakthrough came at Newport County, whom he led to promotion to League Two in 2013 having guided them to the FA Trophy final a year earlier.
A 23-month spell at Gillingham from January 2015 followed, before nine months at Northampton in 2016-2017.
He was appointed Leyton Orient boss in November of 2017, and led the club to 45 wins in his 82 games in charge – culminating in guiding the club back into the Football League last season after winning the Vanarama National League.
A statement from Grays says: “The club are extremely shocked and saddened by the news. We sends it heartfelt condolences to Justin’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time. The club also sends its condolences to everyone involved at Leyton Orient FC, our thoughts are with you all.”
Former East Thurrock United player Marvin Ekpiteta, who had been a stalwart in the heart of Orient’s defence through last season after being signed by Edinburgh from the Rocks, said: “Justin was the first manager to take a gamble on me and give me my professional debut which I will never ever forget.
“Always had faith in me and gave me the confidence to express myself, supported me massively off the pitch and was a friend to all of us players. Rest up Gaffa!”