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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Cantwell dies after cancer battle
Noel Cantwell
Cantwell was skipper of Manchester United
Former Manchester United captain Noel Cantwell has died at the age of 73 after a battle against cancer.

Cantwell was signed for United by Sir Matt Busby in November 1960 from West Ham for 29,500 and spent six years at Old Trafford.

The full-back was captain of the United side that won the 1963 FA Cup and was skipper of the Republic of Ireland.

Cantwell managed Coventry and Peterborough and also represented Ireland at cricket.

Manchester United will hold a minute's silence before Saturday's game with Manchester City as a mark of respect.

Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney paid tribute to Cantwell.
Noel was a great inspiration to those who played alongside him whether for club or country
FAI chief John Delaney

"Noel Cantwell was one of the great characters not only of football but of Irish sport in general," said Delaney.

"He was a great inspiration to those who played alongside him whether for club or country.

"On behalf of the FAI and the family of football in Ireland I extend sincere sympathy to Noel's family and friends."

Cantwell played for Western Rovers and Cork Athletic before West Ham brought him to England as an 18-year-old in 1952.

Cantwell won a second division championship medal in 1958 and made almost 250 appearances for the Hammers before leaving for Old Trafford.

He was club captain at United when they won the 1967 league title, although he made just four appearances that season.

Cantwell took over as manager of Coventry in October 1967 and presided over 200 games in charge before leaving in March 1972.

He also had two spells as Peterborough manager - the first from 1972 until 1977 and the second from 1986 until 1988.

The Cork-born defender also coached New England and Jacksonville in the North American Soccer League and was chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association.

Cantwell played cricket for Ireland, his one match coming in 1956 and comprising two innings for 48 runs with a highest score of 31 and two overs for 13 runs.


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