A FORMER Hereford United manager who led his side to a league title has died, aged 85.

John Sillett moved into management after a good playing career with Hereford as his first club.

He was appointed United manager in June 1974.

During his first season in charge in the Third Division he improved Hereford from an 18th place finish the season before into mid-table.

The next season (1975–76) he led the Bulls to the Third Division title, with Dixie McNeil scoring 35 goals.

He returned to Hereford for a second spell between 1991 and 1992 after leading Coventry to the only major honour in their 138-year history.


However, the following season Hereford were relegated from Division Two.

Sillett stayed on as manager before resigning in February 1978.

He went on to lead Coventry United to FA Cup glory in 1987 managing a side renowned for playing attractive football.

Sillett returned as Hereford manager in 1991 for a season in his final management role.

A statement from the Sillett family read: “Obviously the family are really saddened by Dad’s passing but we are all so proud of him and what he achieved.

“His ability to spot things tactically, change them during a game and enhance the abilities of players was top class, the respect he had from top people in the game and the kind words we have already received already underline the high regard in which he was held by the football world.

“Dad will be remembered for his FA Cup win but he also guided Coventry and Hereford to their highest League positions as well as taking Coventry to a League Cup semi-final. He had the ability to galvanise and gel teams – a skill quite rare.”

Southampton-born Sillett was a full-back who began his career at Chelsea in 1954 and went on to play over 100 games for the Blues.

Sillett later played for Coventry and Plymouth before moving into management at Hereford.

Hereford FC chairman, Jon Hale said: “It is with great sadness to learn of John Sillett’s passing this morning.

"He will be forever fondly remembered by everyone at Edgar Street for his two spells as manager, and by everyone across the football family for his incredible achievements with Coventry when winning the FA Cup.

"Whilst I was sadly too young to have seen his first spell as manager at Edgar Street when United carried off the Third Division title in 1976, John brought Edgar Street to life again when taking over in 1991 with a squad full of characters, and his own unrestricted love for the game was written all over his face when ever you saw him in the dugout or around the club.

"That smile will be always be remembered. The game has lost a true legend, and a fantastic, warm character. Rest in peace, Snoz.”