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Justin Edinburgh will be missed for his spirit as much as his success

The 49-year-old led Leyton Orient to title-winning glory in part by restoring a sense of pride at the club. His death is a personal and collective tragedy

Fans and players at Leyton Orient and beyond are in mourning following the sudden death of their manager, Justin Edinburgh, aged 49. Edinburgh died on Saturday following a cardiac arrest only six weeks after leading the east London club to the National League title.

First and foremost it’s a personal tragedy for Edinburgh’s family and friends, but it also snuffs out a managerial career of huge potential. When the former Tottenham defender arrived at Orient in November 2017 the team were on the floor. Six months earlier, the club were relegated from the Football League and becoming regulars in the high court, facing winding-up orders and fighting for their very survival under the belligerently negligent ownership of Francesco Becchetti. Salvation off the field had come that summer in the form of lifelong fan Nigel Travis and Texan investor Kent Teague but the football side of things needed considerable turning around.

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