Tony Knapp Obituary, Leicester City Formal Player Has Passed Away – Death Cause
- Lucas Smith
Tony Knapp Obituary, Death – Knapp joined the Club as a 17-year-old while working as a coal miner in Nottinghamshire, and made his first-team debut in February 1956 against Stoke City. He broke into the first team during the 1958/59 season under manager David Halliday and was the club’s first-choice center-back for the next two and a half seasons under new boss Matt Gillies. Tony was picked for the Football League against the Scottish League in March 1960, and he was called up to the 14-man England squad for matches against Spain and Hungary at the start of the 1960/61 season.
Nevertheless, in November of that year, the defender suffered a knee injury and was replaced in the starting lineup by another promising center-half, Ian King. As a result, he did not appear in the 1961 FA Cup Final. Tony turned refused a move to Chelsea that summer, but in August 1961, he joined Southampton for £27,500 – a record incoming cost for Leicester. Tony played 233 times in seven years at the Dell, helping the Saints gain promotion to the top division in 1966. He subsequently played for Coventry City for over a year before joining the Los Angeles Wolves.
Tony had periods at Bristol City and Tranmere Rovers near the conclusion of his playing career before becoming player-manager at Poole Town. He later built a name for himself in Icelandic and Norwegian football. In 1974, while managing KR Reykjavik, he was persuaded to become the Icelandic national manager, a position he retained until 1978 when he became manager of Viking Stavanger in Norway. Tony managed Stavanger as well as three other top Norwegian clubs: Fredrikstadt FK, Vidar Stavanger, and SK Brann. He also managed the Icelandic national team for a second time in the mid-1980s.
Tony remained in Norway, having spent the better part of 30 years managing a variety of other Norwegian teams before retiring in 2008. Speaking to the Club from Norway in 2019, Tony reflected on his time at Filbert Street, stating that it was one of the best times of his life. He will be greatly missed, and Leicester City Football Club’s sympathies are with Tony’s family and friends at this difficult time.