FORMER footballer Sean Haslegrave, who walked 1,500 miles to Spain for Charity in 2012, has died following an undisclosed illness, aged 68.
Midfielder Haslegrave played for Stoke City in the seventies, alongside Denis Smith: “The last time I saw Sean was about six months ago at a function at Stoke – he wasn’t himself.
“It’s such a comparatively young age. He did that tremendous Charity walk to Spain,” said Smith.
Haslegrave was signed by Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough in 1976, and went on to play for Preston North End, Crewe Alexandra, York City and Torquay United.
In a statement, Stoke City said: “The club offers sincere condolences to Mr Haslegrave’s family and friends at this extremely sad time.”
Stoke born Haslegrave made 146 appearances for Stoke City, during 1970-1976. During 1977-81; and made over 100 appearances for my home city club Preston North End.
Upon retiring Haslegrave returned to Preston to coach the Youth team and became Director of the club’s Centre of Excellence at Deepdale.
On leaving Preston he became Head Coach at Cardinal Newman College in Preston.
Haslegrave held a UEFA (A) coaching badge and was a representative of Anglo-Deities United, a Lancashire-based Charity for the elderly.
Haslegrave was Clough’s first signing at Forest. Haslegrave was playing for Stoke in a UEFA Cup tie against Ajax, a game Clough attended, later signing him for £50,000.
Haslegrave, who met Clough at a Travel Lodge on the M6, putting pen to paper, said: “Brian Clough was one of the greatest managers in Europe. A legend.”
On his career, Haslegrave said: “Coming from a Council estate, to becoming a professional footballer. I thought I had died – and gone to heaven.”