SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Ex Owl Trevor Francis recovering from suspected heart attack

SHEFFIELD Wednesday’s former player and manager Trevor Francis is recovering in hospital following a suspected heart attack, his former club Birmingham City have confirmed.

A spokesman for the npower Championship club said they had been informed by a person close to Francis’ family that he had been taken ill on Friday.

It is believed Francis was taken to Solihull Hospital and the club spokesman said they had been told that the former England striker had had a stent fitted and was making a good recovery.

The Twitter hashtag #getwellTrevor was trending for people to show their support.

Between 1988 and 2003 he was a football manager, most notably with Sheffield Wednesday and then Birmingham City.

He is currently working as a pundit with Al Jazeera Sports and Sky Sports.

Francis left QPR in 1990 to play for Sheffield Wednesday. Despite gaining a good reputation amongst supporters, he could not help the club avoid relegation to the second tier for the 1990-1991 season.

That season he helped Wednesday win the League Cup, although he was a non-playing substitute in the final and also promotion back to the top flight.

Wednesday supporters chanted:“We’ve got tricky Trevor, he will play forever!”

After the departure of Ron Atkinson, Francis took over with popular support from club and supporters. He guided Wednesday to a third place finish in 1992. The following year, Wednesday reached the FA Cup and League Cup finals, losing both to Arsenal, the former after a replay.

In February 1992, Francis brought former French International Eric Cantona back from the wilderness by inviting him for a trial at Sheffield Wednesday. However as the snowy conditions meant that he could only evaluate Cantona on astroturf, Francis requested an extension to the trial to see whether Cantona could play on grass.

An outraged Cantona walked out on The Owls and was signed without a trial by Leeds United, famously inspiring first them and then Manchester United to success.

In 1994, Francis finally retired as a player, shortly before his 40th birthday. He was sacked as manager a year later after Wednesday finished 13th in the Premiership - the result of one relatively bad season.

Francis played for Birmingham between 1971 and 1979 before becoming England’s first £1 million player when he joined Nottingham Forest. He also managed Birmingham between 1996 and 2001.

A statement on the club’s official website read: “Everybody at Birmingham City FC would like to send our best wishes to club legend Trevor Francis following news that he is recovering in hospital from a suspected heart attack.

“The former Blues striker and manager is much loved by everybody associated with the club and we’d like to wish Trevor a speedy recovery.”