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John Neal

24 November 2014

The Football League are saddened to hear the passing of John Neal, at the age of 82.

Neal played for and managed a variety of clubs during his career, between 1949 and 1985, achieving numerous feats in League and Cup competitions.

Born in Silksworth, County Durham in 1932, Neal started out as a player at Hull City before appearing for Swindon Town, Aston Villa and Southend United.

Whilst with Villa, he won the first ever League Cup in 1961, beating Rotherham United 3-2 in the Final, which was played over two legs.

He hung up his boots in 1965 and, three years later, switched his focus to management by taking charge at Wrexham, who he steered to European Cup Winners Cup campaigns on two occasions, promotion to the Third Division, a Welsh Cup and the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

He then moved to Middlesbrough for four years before taking the reins at Chelsea in 1981. He won the Second Division title as Blues manager, with his side losing just four times in their promotion-winning campaign.

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