Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

Funeral held for football manager Keith Alexander

Keith Alexander
Alexander had managed Macclesfield, Lincoln and Peterborough

The funeral of football manager Keith Alexander has taken place at Lincoln Cathedral with hundreds of people paying their respects.

The Macclesfield manager, who was born in Nottingham, died two weeks ago at the age of 53.

He became the first full-time black boss in the Football League when he was named Lincoln manager in 1993.

Alexander died on 3 March after arriving home from the League Two match at Notts County.

'Splendid man'

Players, staff, directors and supporters from across the East Midlands travelled to Lincoln to pay their respects.

Macclesfield assistant manager Gary Simpson paid tribute to Alexander saying: "He was a larger than life character - an honest man, a splendid man and will be missed by not only football people but people in all walks of life.

"He was an absolutely superb human being."

Notts County youth team coach Michael Johnson said Alexander was a role model to all aspiring black managers.

Mr Alexander's son, Paul, said his father was a caring man.

He said: "He would give everything and ask for nothing in return.

"We not only had a father and son relationship, we were like best friends.

"He was humble, he didn't realise the impact he had on others just by walking in to a room."

Alexander played as a striker for Barnet, Grimsby, Stockport, Lincoln and Mansfield and took over as Lincoln manager for the first time in 1993.

After spells with Ilkeston and Northwich, he returned to Sincil Bank in 2002 with the club in administration and on the verge of folding.

He led them to four successive League Two play-off campaigns - the only manager to achieve that feat.

In November 2003 he collapsed with a double aneurysm, revealing afterwards that he had to be brought back to life three times.

Alexander left Lincoln by mutual consent shortly after the defeat against Grimsby in 2006 and moved to Peterborough, but left in January 2007.

He took the position of director of football at Bury before being appointed Macclesfield manager in February 2008, agreeing a two-year contract extension in January of this year.

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