Trevor Francis – England’s First One Million Pound Player


Transfer fees commanding millions of pounds are now common place in the Premier League, but in 1979 Trevor Francis became the first one million pound player in England. The transfer was a landmark event in British football and received widespread media attention.

Francis had signed for Birmingham City as a schoolboy and made his first team debut at the age of sixteen, and he scored 15 goals during his first season when he played a total of 22 games for the club.

Although he continued to improve and he was undoubtedly a star player for the club, Birmingham failed to achieve success in either the First Division or in any Cup competitions. Francis received his first England cap in 1977, and he went onto make 52 appearances for England during his career.

In 1978 Francis secured a loan move to Detroit Express in the North American Soccer League, scoring an impressive 22 goals in 19 matches. Shortly after returning to Birmingham, for whom he had played over 300 times, began negotiations for a transfer that would make British history 먹튀검증.

Nottingham Forest were the First Division champions and League Cup winners, and at the time were managed by Brian Clough. After weeks of negotiations and speculation Forest placed a bid of just over £1 million for Francis, more than double the previous British record transfer fee of £500,000. Francis completed his famous transfer on 9th February 1979. Manager Brian Clough famously claiming the deal was only worth £999,999 in an attempt to ease some of the pressure of the new million pound player.

Although a British transfer record had been broken, this was not a World record, as Italian players Giuseppe Savoldi and Paolo Rossi had both had transfers well in excess of £1 million.

The fear was that Francis would not live up to the expectation of such a hefty price tag, and many believe this to be the case. There was much debate about how the player would adapt to playing in his new team, and he was often played to the right of the midfield rather than his preferred strikers role.

Trevor Francis went some way in repaying his huge transfer fee when he scored the winning goal in the 1979 European Cup final, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory against Swedish side Malmo.

During the 1979-80 season Francis scored 14 goals and only 6 goals the following season, but he only played 18 games during the season due to injury. After what can only be described as an unspectacular spell at Nottingham Forest, Francis was sold to Manchester City for £1.2 million, in 1981.

After a promising start at City, Francis scored 12 goals in 26 games but again was troubled by injury, his substantial contract eventually resulted in his sale to Italian side Sampdoria where he won the Italian league. Francis later had spells with Atlanta, Rangers, Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday where he later became the manager, he will always be remembered in football for his famous million pound transfer