Sunderland AFC pay tribute to club legend Len Ashurst after his death

Len Ashurst took Sunderland to the 1985 League Cup final. Credit: PA

Former Sunderland defender and manager Len Ashurst has died at the age of 82.

Ashurst made 409 appearances for the Black Cats - a club record for an outfield player - before moving into management.

He led Newport to the European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals in 1981 and eventually returned to Sunderland, whom he took to the 1985 League Cup final.

Ashurst's former clubs led the tributes, with Sunderland announcing they will hold a minute's applause prior to Saturday's match against Bolton.

Former goalkeeper Jim Montgomery, the only Sunderland player to surpass Ashurst's playing record, told the club's official website: "As a player, Lennie would have kicked his granny because he was a winner."

Ashurst ended his playing career at Hartlepool, whom he also later managed, and also had managerial spells at Gillingham, Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff.