Don't know if he counts as a celeb as such but........Tributes pour in for Macclesfield manager Keith Alexander, who has died aged 53
Alexander, who suffered a brain aneurysm in November 2003, passed away after
arriving home from Tuesday night's 1-0 League Two defeat at Notts County.
In a statement on the LMA's official website, Bevan said: "Our thoughts are
with Keith's family at this very difficult time. This will have been a
dreadful shock to his wife Helen, their two children Jack and Jenny and his
two other sons Paul and Matt.
"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."
Along with MK Dons manager Paul Ince, Alexander was one of only two black
managers working in English management throughout the 92 clubs.
The Nottingham-born manager recently celebrated two years in charge of the
Silkmen and their chairman Mike Rance said: "We're all absolutely
"I spoke to Keith last night at about 11.15pm after our game at Notts County
and he was in good spirits because, although we lost, we had given a team
chasing promotion a good game.
"We were chatting about an FA hearing after he had a row with a referee at
Bournemouth, which just shows how passionate he was about the game.
"It was perhaps fitting that the last conversation we had was about football."
The exact cause of Alexander's death remains unclear, but Rance said: "He went
home after the game last night and collapsed. Tragically, he never
Alexander had built a reputation in the lower leagues for working effectively
within a tight budget and Rance added: "Keith was the perfect manager for a
club like ours.
"He was totally pragmatic about managing in League Two and the constraints
"He was a splendid man, a real gentleman and an absolute privilege to work
are scheduled to play Hereford at Edgar Street on Saturday but the
match could be postponed.
Rance has already spoken to Hereford chairman Graham Turner and explained:
"Graham also knew Keith very well and the decision as to whether Saturday's
game goes ahead will be taken by Keith's family shortly.
"I know what Keith would have wanted, but it will be his family's decision."
Assistant manager Gary Simpson told Sky Sports News: "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.
"He was always there and together we just got on with stuff. In the difficult
times we've had, we've helped each other through things and he was just a
Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney said: "I am shocked and deeply
saddened by the death of Keith Alexander. The thoughts of the Football
League, its clubs and football supporters everywhere will be with Keith's
family and friends.
"He was a tough, dogged competitor as a player and as a manager and will be
The most notable spells of Alexander's playing career were at Grimsby and
Stockport, while he also had a stint with Lincoln, where he became manager
for the first time in 1993, making him the first black professional football
manager in the UK.
His stay lasted less than a year but, after spells with Ilkeston and
Northwich, Alexander returned as director of football and assistant manager
before eventually replacing Alan Buckley at the helm and becoming a fans'
In November 2003 Alexander suffered a cerebral aneurysm and was taken to
hospital for vital surgery before returning to work in February 2004.
He left Lincoln by mutual consent in the 2005/2006 season and had a spell in
charge of Peterborough before taking the position of director of football at
He took charge of Macclesfield in February 2008, but his health recently took
a turn for the worse when he was forced to miss the goalless draw with
Accrington last month due to illness.
Alexander helped Lincoln to the play-offs for four consecutive seasons between
2002-06 - the only manager to achieve that feat.
Imps chairman Steff Wright said: "Over and above being the absolute
professional in everything he did, Keith was one of the nicest guys you
could ever wish to meet.
"It goes without saying that our thoughts are with Helen and the family at
this extremely difficult time."
A Bury spokesman said: "Keith Alexander was one of the most genuine people you
could work with, to know and to have the pleasure to meet.
"There are a lot of heavy hearts around Gigg Lane this afternoon and as a
club, we wish to pass our condolences to Keith's immediate family, his
friends and all supporters, players and officials at Macclesfield Town."