25 Sep 2021
LEN ASHURST: MARCH 1939 - SEPTEMBER 2021
The LMA is deeply saddened following the death of LMA Hall of Fame and 1000 Club member Len Ashurst at the age of 82.
Len’s remarkable career in the game included a 13-year spell at Sunderland, where he still holds the record for the highest number of appearances by an outfield player, before ending his playing career at Hartlepool United as player-manager.
Len moved to Gillingham in 1974 to continue his management career, before further spells at eight clubs across four countries and two national teams. In 2014, Len was inducted into the LMA Hall of Fame and 1000 Club, in recognition of his long and successful career in the game. To date, only 33 managers in the modern era of football have reached 1000 matches as a manager, emphasising the significance of Len’s achievements.
Paying tribute to Len, LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson said: “Len was a real brick in the old wall that was football management and he will be sorely missed by all that knew him. He was the salt of the earth, respectful, kind and always looking out for others.
“He was a very good player, coach and manager. His CV speaks for itself and he managed two of his clubs to new heights, firstly leading Newport County’s remarkable run to the quarter final of the Cup Winners’ Cup and then, managing his beloved Sunderland in its first League Cup final.
“Our thoughts and best wishes are with Len’s family and friends at this time.”
LMA Chief Executive Richard Bevan added: “Len’s career in the game is the envy of many professionals. His status as a club legend at Sunderland and his subsequent longevity as a manager in England, Wales and overseas clearly demonstrates how much football meant to him and how much he dedicated his life in service to the game.
“As a member of the LMA Hall of Fame and 1000 Club, Len’s legacy will live on in the memories of his peers. Our thoughts are with Len’s family and friends at this difficult time.”