Trevor Francis leaves £1.9m in will but not a penny to two estranged sons

Blues legend Trevor Francis left a fortune of £1.9m in his will, but his two estranged sons won't see a penny of it. The former England forward, who passed away last July at the age of 69, made it crystal clear in his will that his sons James and Matthew are to be excluded from inheriting any part of his substantial estate.

Details of the family rift came to light after the will was made public, showing that Francis, who played for and managed Birmingham City, had bequeathed his entire £1.9m estate to his siblings, Ian and Carolyn. In the will, penned in February 2019, Francis explicitly stated his desire to leave nothing to his offspring, reports The Sun.

His spouse Helen, who worked as a hairdresser, died two years prior due to breast cancer. Francis didn't mince words in his will, declaring: "I wish to make it clear in this my will that I have not included my children as beneficiaries due to the fact that we have become estranged following family differences over the last several months. Neither of my children are financially dependent on me."

Read more: Blues fitting tribute to Francis

The St Andrew's icon died of a heart attack at his Spanish residence, with his funeral held close to Marbella, which both of his sons attended. According to the legal papers, his UK assets are to be split evenly between his brother Ian and sister Carolyn, both Plymouth residents.

His property in Spain, reportedly including an apartment near Marbella, is to be dealt with under separate arrangements. In 2013, Francis' son James was in court, accused of burgling the Warwickshire home of ex Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie.

James, who was acquitted of the charge, explained to the jury that his fingerprints were found at the scene because he had visited the property to provide a cleaning quote. Speaking on behalf of his son, Francis said: "Both my boys were brought up in what I would consider to be the correct way - with strong discipline.

Birmingham City v Bolton Wanderers in 1971.
Trevor Francis heads in the first goal despite a desperate tackle by full-back John Ritson.
Birmingham City v Bolton Wanderers in 1971. Trevor Francis heads in the first goal despite a desperate tackle by full-back John Ritson. -Credit:Birmingham Mail

"I was quite strict with them, they were always polite, well-mannered and always knew when to say please and thank you. As you can imagine, this, what has happened, has been very, very difficult for the family. I have known Lee Hendrie for a long, long time and that's what makes it so extraordinary."

"We are a very close family, a very loving family but it's been tough."

Francis had an illustrious playing career, making his debut at Birmingham City in 1970 before winning two European Cups at Nottingham Forest. He represented England 52 times, netting 12 goals.

He made headlines when he moved from Blues to Forest in 1979 for a record-breaking £1million British transfer fee. Francis scored the decisive goal in that year's European Cup final against Malmo, and also played for clubs including Manchester City, Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday, Sampdoria and Atlanta.

In his autobiography, One In A Million, Francis spoke candidly about losing his wife, confessing: "It's so hard because of the deep love I had for Helen and also because I am useless in the house. She did everything for me. I don't mind admitting that. All of a sudden I am living by myself and I suppose I never contemplated this would ever happen. It is a tougher challenge than anything I ever faced on a football field."

"I didn't think Helen and I would ever stop. She was my best friend and I couldn't have done any of what I did without her. We were married 43 years. You know, every day is difficult. I do get quite lonely. But I am trying to adapt. I have to."