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John Mortimore: Ex-Chelsea defender and title-winning Benfica manger dies, aged 86

John Mortimore joined Chelsea from Woking in 1957

Former Chelsea defender John Mortimore, who went on to guide Benfica to two Portuguese league titles as manager, has died at the age of 86.

Hampshire-born Mortimore enjoyed league and cup success across two spells with Benfica between 1976 and 1987.

As a player, he made 279 appearances for Chelsea, moving to QPR for a short spell before retiring.

Chelsea players will wear black armbands in Mortimore’s honour during Sunday’s game against Burnley.

In a statement, the Premier League club said they were “greatly saddened” by news of Mortimore’s death.

“It was no surprise when he was invited to walk around the pitch at half-time when Chelsea played Benfica in the Champions League in 2012 that the ovation came from both sets of supporters,” the club said.

Mortimore also managed Portsmouth and worked in Spain and Greece, with his final job being at Southampton where he served as club president.

“Throughout his long, dedicated association with the club, John also served as coach, assistant manager and chief scout,” Southampton said.

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