Were it ever thus. The above picture is of Justin Edinburgh, former professional footballer and manager of my local team, Leyton Orient.
Justin was taken to hospital last Monday, having suffered a cardiac arrest. Tragically, he never recovered and passed away today, aged 49.
What must his poor family be thinking right now? Just the unfairness and the injustice of a man in the prime of his life, having just guided Leyton Orient back into the Football League after a two year absence, being cruelly taken away from us all.
Justin Edinburgh was held in very high regard as a player for Tottenham and was highly respected for managing teams further down the football pyramid. He did so in a quiet and efficient way, but with his players fighting for him every week and enjoying his methodology in getting results. He never looked for excuses if his team lost, he was very candid about putting it right next time and Leyton Orient went from the depths to untold riches in May when they gained promotion back to the Football League.
I’ve suffered a loss of someone very close to me this year and the pain of Edinburgh’s passing will take a long time to heal too. They say only the good die young, but one thing I will say, is that when you wake up every day, enjoy every moment you are here. When you hear this tragic news today, you should be thankful to enjoy those precious moments.
My deepest condolences go out to Leyton Orient and Justin Edinburgh’s family. His lasting legacy was success. A top man, a top manager and top player. The fans and players at Leyton Orient will never forget him and he departs the stage, rightly and properly, as a winner in all respects.
RIP Justin Edinburgh, aged 49.