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Tuesday, December 9, 1997 Published at 11:07 GMT


Soccer star Billy Bremner dies
image: [ Bremner victorious as Leeds won the FA Cup in 1972 ]
Bremner victorious as Leeds won the FA Cup in 1972

The former Leeds United and Scotland soccer star Billy Bremner has died, aged 54, of a suspected heart attack, according to his family.

Bremner had been taken to hospital on Friday and died in Doncaster Royal Infirmary on Sunday morning.

The midfielder made 585 appearances for Leeds between 1959 and 1976 before becoming manager of Doncaster in 1978.

He returned to Leeds as manager in 1985, staying for three years, and went back to Doncaster in 1989.

[ image: Bremner made 585 appearances for Leeds]
Bremner made 585 appearances for Leeds
Bremner's former Scotland colleague, Denis Law, said the news of his friend's death was "tragic".

"It is absolutely awful. I just can't take it in that he is gone," said Law, from his home in Altrincham, Manchester.

"I heard on Friday that he had been at a `do' the previous night and had been complaining of chest pains. A friend of a friend of mine drove him home and he was then taken to hospital. I thought that, once he was there, everything would be all right.

"I thought there was not a great deal of a problem but I phoned this morning and they said that he had gone."

Law played alongside Bremner many times for Scotland and the two were opponents when Bremner captained Leeds and Law starred for Manchester United.

"He was an excellent player for Scotland, not only as a football player but as a guy as well. It was good to be in his company," said Law.

'Tireless energy'

Although he mellowed with age, Bremner will be remembered as a firebrand. He was a passionate player whose tireless energy was the motor that drove Leeds during its most successful years under the management of Don Revie.

Although his passionate nature was a driving force it also got him into trouble on several occaisions, most memborably during the 1974 Charity Shield, when Bremner and the Liverpool striker Kevin Keegan were both sent off after a brief clash.

Bremner first appeared for Leeds when he was only 17. Later, as captain he saw Leeds win the League twice and took them to four FA Cup finals.

But he only succeeded in winning the trophy once and saw them win the European Fairs Cup in 1967-8 and 1971-72. Bremner also captained Scotland in the 1974 World Cup Finals.

Billy will be "sadly missed" - says his former Leeds team mate Eddie Gray
Former Leeds striker Peter Lorimer says Bremner always "played from the heart"

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