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Derby County player Jeff Bourne mourned by family, fans and friends

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 02, 2014

Jeff Bourne

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TRIBUTES have poured in for a former Derby County footballer who has been described as a "legend".

Jeff Bourne died on Thursday, having been diagnosed with motor neurone disease nine weeks ago. He was 66.

The popular character worked as a steward at Swadlincote Constitutional Club, in Midland Road, for 10 years and still lived in the area with his wife.

Gary Wood, chairman of the club, said: "He was a really well-liked man and will be sorely missed. Everyone knew Jeff and life will not be same without him – he was a legend."

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Jeff was born in Linton and began his football career at his local club, Linton United.

The striker joined the Rams in 1969. He was signed by Brian Clough for a transfer fee of a brand new kit for Linton United.

He made his debut for the Rams in April 1971 and was a key member of the reserve team that won the Central League the following season.

Jeff went on to be a member of the Derby side that won the Football League Championship in 1974-75. He made 17 first-team appearances and scored two goals during the season.

He also notched three goals in Europe, in both the European Cup and UEFA Cup. He made a total of 72 appearances for Derby and scored 14 goals.

Jeff went on to play for Crystal Palace and Sheffield United and had a spell in the former North American Soccer League, where he scored 67 goals in 132 appearances in spells with Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle.

Derby County president and chief executive Sam Rush said: "It's always sad to hear of the death of a former Derby County player, and particularly one who won a Football League winner's medal.

"Our thoughts are with Jeff Bourne's family at this sad time."

After returning to the area after his spell in America, Jeff also coached and played for Gresley Rovers.

He was a former landlord of the Hollybush Inn, in Linton.

Jeff is survived by his wife and three daughters.

Funeral details have yet to be released.

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