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Les Shannon, who died on 2 December, 2007, was a footballer who played over 250 games for Burnley during the 1950s and went onto a coaching and managerial career.Although he enjoyed mixed fortunes as a manager, his knowledge of football was so highlyvalued that he worked with Pele in coordinating the football sequences of the classic 1981 war film Escape to Victory.Les Shannon was born on 12 March, 1926, in Liverpool. He joined his hometown club as a teenager in 1944 and was part of their wartime line-up. He broke into the first team proper four years later. However, he only managed a further ten league appearances and a single goal against Sheffield United.When his contract expired in 1949 he made the move north to Burnley who were on the verge of what would be the brightest period in the club’s history. With the likes of Jimmy Adamson and Jimmy McIlroy in the team, Burnley were amongst the most competitive teams in the First Division for many years, although it would not be until 1960 that they would finally win the League title – two years after Mr Shannon had retired.He played a total of 281 games in all competitions for the Clarets and scored 44 goals, playing on both flanks. He also made appearances for the England ‘B’ team but never got a full cap. He retired from the Burnley first team in September 1958 but captained the reserves for a season before going into coaching.He worked with Harry Catterick at Everton and then Billy Wright at Arsenal. In 1966 he took over as manager of Bury. In an eventful three seasons the Greater Manchester club were relegated, promoted, and then relegated again.Mr Shannon moved to Blackpool where he continued this yo-yo trend, taking the Seasiders to the First Division and back down again the following year, although he left the club midway through the season.He moved to Greece to take over PAOK. During four successful years he led the team to the Greek Cup twice (1972 and 1974) and the quarter finals of the 1973 Cup Winners’ Cup.After several more years managing in Greece, with clubs including Iraklis, Crete and Olympiacos, he returned to England in the late 1980s to become a scout for Luton. He eventually retired and settled in Bedfordshire.As well as assisting on the set of Escape to Victory, he was football adviser to the 1989 TV series The Manageress. Mr Shannon returned to Burnley’s Turf Moor ground in 2006 shortly after turning 80.
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Viewed by: 1882 visitors. Uploaded: 10 years ago
Published in: Online.
Published from: December 02, 2007.
Region: National
Les played a key part in developing Wheelchair Football at DADDS. His passion and love for the game was infectious and inspired everyone. His encouragement helped people with a range of disabilities develop their skills and achieve their own personal goals. Will always be remembered with the greatest regard. From All at DADDS (Dunstable and District Disabled Sports)
Left by Steve Finnie: 13/12/2007
I first met Les 10 years ago at the 60th birthday celebrations of his good friend Wilf McGuiness. This was held in the Lake District and every year since then we have returned to spend a week together with Les, his vivacious partner Maureen and mutual friends. As a fan of Blackpool and Lancashire football I was proud to be counted amongst his friends and I spent many a happy hour with him talking of football past and present. He will be sadly missed by us all.
Left by Mike Marsh: 12/12/2007
Les had been a member of our family for around 40 years, and was loved and respected by everyone. My daughters Caroline and Suzanne have wonderful memories of our holidays in Greece and my grandson Matthew will never forget his 'long chats' about football when he passed on his passion for the beautiful game! Bye Les, you will always be fondly remembered. Love Sylvia (your second carer)
Left by Sylvia Miller: 11/12/2007
Under Les Shannon coaching PAOK Thessaloniki won its first two titles in Greece that being the 1972 and 1974 Greek Cup. He will be missed and never forgotten by PAOK. RIP LES
Left by Chris Kolovos: 09/12/2007
My name is Tom Wing and I am the Godson of the infamous Les Shannon, I would like to add that I saw him lately and he was in great peice. He took me around Luton Football Club (kenilworth Road Stadium) that was my favourite time with him and I loved him very much and I will always remember the times at Christmas I speant with him. R.I.P Les With Love Thomas Wing
Left by Tom Wing: 05/12/2007
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