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Wolves old boys pay tribute to tragic Justin Edinburgh

Former Wolves players George Elokobi and Darren Anderton have joined in the tributes to Justin Edinburgh, who has died at the age of 49.

The ex-Tottenham left back tragically passed away on Saturday after suffering a cardiac arrest on his return from watching his old club in the Champions League final against Liverpool in Madrid. He was hospitalised on Monday.

Edinburgh was last pictured before the final, which he watched with former team-mate and one-time Wolves captain Steve Sedgley, along with other ex-Tottenham players.

Just six weeks ago Edinburgh led the team he managed, Leyton Orient, back into the Football League by winning the National League in his first full season in charge.

Elokobi was inherited by Edinburgh at Orient after joining them from Colchester in July 2017, and he played for them to February this year, when he signed for Aldershot.

The popular 33-year-old tweeted: “It was an honour to have met you, It was an honour to have worked with you, it was an honour to have learnt from you. My thoughts are with your family and with @leytonorientfc today and always. RIP GAFFER.”

Elokobi also added emojis of clapping hands and a broken heart to his tweet.

The Cameroon-born left back played 24 league games for the Os, scoring twice, with all but three of his appearances in 2017-18, when Orient finished 13th.

Anderton, 47, played with Edinburgh at Spurs through the 1990s before being signed by Glenn Hoddle at Wolves in 2005.

He paid a heartfelt tribute, saying: “Can’t believe it… such sad news about Justin… it’s not fair. One of the greatest guys you could ever wish to meet. When you were around him, you just laughed and smiled constantly. RIP mate.”

Tributes have been paid at Orient’s Brisbane Road ground. Orient have placed a framed photograph of Edinburgh on his seat in the dugout, which is now surrounded by scarves, shirts and floral tributes to him.

Orient captain Jobi McAnuff and goalkeeper Dean Brill were clearly emotional as they laid their club shirts in the home dugout.

McAnuff’s shirt bore the hand-written message “Thanks for everything you did for me and the club. Will carry your memory with me forever. R.I.P, gone but never forgotten.”

Speaking to assembled media in the ground, McAnuff said Edinburgh was ‘much more than a manager’.

He added: “Football aside, Justin was a hugely positive man, loved his family. Every day he came in he had that lust for life, a real zest about him, a real willingness to enjoy himself.

I think he would want us to carry that on… I know for sure he would want us to approach this in the most positive way we can, that’s very much what he was about, being on the front foot.

Together, using those lessons that he taught us, it can help us deal with such tragic circumstances.’

Brill’s shirt also featured a note, reading: “RIP Gaffer. Thank you for everything. You are a true hero and inspiration. You believed in us all. Rest well, Love ‘Goalie’.”

Fans also gathered outside of the ground and placed scarves and shirts outside. Many of them had personal messages written on them saying how important Edinburgh had been to them.

Spurs supporters also left mementos from the Champions League final in a tribute to Edinburgh, who was referred to as a ‘true O’s legend’ in one tribute hung up at the ground. There were also flowers left by a six-year-old support on Sunday.

McAnuff wrote a tribute on his Twitter account and promised the club would build on his legacy.

He described the Orient manager as a ‘leader, a fantastic manager and a truly great man’.

Orient fans have also started a campaign to rename a stand at their Brisbane Road ground after Edinburgh.

They want to change the name of their West Stand, with over 350 already signing the petition.

Edinburgh left behind his wife Kerri and their children Charlie and Cydnie.

We are completely heartbroken by this tragedy,” said Orient chairman Nigel Travis in a statement. “All our thoughts and love are with the Edinburgh family and we know from the messages that have flooded into the Club over the last week that the wider football world will share our sentiments.

The success that Justin brought to Leyton Orient was incredible, but more importantly the impact he had on us all as a winner and a wonderful, inspirational human being will be his legacy and will stay with us forever.”

Edinburgh played more than 200 games for Spurs between 1990 and 2000, winning the FA Cup in 1991 and the League Cup eight years later. After finishing his playing career with Billericay in 2006 following a spel with Portsmouth, he went on to manage Newport County, Gillingham and Northampton after starting in management with Rushden and Diamonds in 2009.