Northern Ireland

Former manager Jimbo Crossan led Derry City into League of Ireland football

Former player and manager, Jimbo Crossan led Derry City into the League of Ireland in 1985 after the club was forced out of the Irish League.
Former player and manager, Jimbo Crossan led Derry City into the League of Ireland in 1985 after the club was forced out of the Irish League. Former player and manager, Jimbo Crossan led Derry City into the League of Ireland in 1985 after the club was forced out of the Irish League.

Former Derry city manager and player, Jimbo Crossan who has died, has been described as a “legend” of Irish football.

Mr Crossan, who died on Tuesday, managed Derry City when the club made history in 1985 by becoming the first northern side to play in the Republic’s League of Ireland. It made the move to the southern league after it was forced out of the northern Irish League in the 1970s.

A brother of former Irish international star, John “Jobby” Crossan, Mr Crossan won  an Irish Cup medal with the club in 1964. He gained legendary status when he scored against Norway’s FK Lynn in 1965 to help Derry become the first Irish club to progress through a round in European football.

Derry City FC said everyone at the club was “deeply saddened” to learn of his death overnight on Tuesday.

A spokesman said: “Jimbo will be forever remembered for a lifetime of service to football in Derry and for leading the club into the League of Ireland in 1985.”

Mayor Sandra Duffy said Mr Crossan had been a highly respected footballer and manager.

“He contributed so much to the local sporting community over the years and achieved much success through his long association with Derry City FC,” Ms Duffy said.

SDLP assembly member, Mark H Durkan said he was saddened to learn of the death of “Derry City legend and champion of local soccer.

“Not only did he play for and manage the club with distinction, he also scored the best goal I’ve ever seen (FK Lynn),” Mr Durkan said.

Mr Crossan’s funeral will take place following Requiem Mass at St Columba’s Church, Long Tower (10am) on Friday.