Former Gillingham manager Justin Edinburgh has died at the age of 49.
The news was announced by his current club, Leyton Orient, this evening. .
Edinburgh suffered a cardiac arrest last Monday and passed away today.
He was appointed Gills boss in February 2015 after leaving League 2 Newport but was sacked in January 2017.
Gillingham chairman Paul Scally said: “Everyone at the Club is absolutely devastated by this news.
“Our thoughts and condolences go to Justin’s friends and family at this very sad time.”
After a brief spell with Northampton, Edinburgh later went on to become Leyton Orient manager, in November 2017, and guided the club back into the Football League as National League champions last season.
“We are completely heartbroken by this tragedy”, said Orient chairman Nigel Travis. “All our thoughts and love are with the Edinburgh family and we know from the messages that have flooded into the Club over the last week that the wider football world will share our sentiments.
“The success that Justin brought to Leyton Orient was incredible, but more importantly the impact he had on us all as a winner and a wonderful, inspirational human being will be his legacy and will stay with us forever.”
Edinburgh started his playing career at Southend before joining Tottenham, where he made more than 200 appearances and won both the FA Cup and League Cup.
He later moved to Portsmouth before turning his hand to management at the likes of Billericay, Fisher and Rushden & Diamonds before linking up with Newport County.
Gills defender Max Ehmer, who was signed by Edinburgh in 2015, wrote on Twitter: “RIP Justin. Devastated to hear this, thoughts are with his family.”
Current Gillingham defender Barry Fuller said: “Such sad news hearing the passing of Justin Edinburgh. A life taken way too early. My thoughts and prayers are with all his family and friends at this very difficult time. RIP Justin.”
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