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Chris Bart-Williams: Former Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder dies aged 49

Chris Bart-Williams died aged 49 in the US, where he worked as a coach; former midfielder passed away on the same day as Trevor Francis, his manager at Sheffield Wednesday; Bart-Williams also played for Nottingham Forest, Leyton Orient, Charlton and Ipswich

Image: Former Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday star Chris Bart-Williams has died aged 49

Former Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest midfielder Chris Bart-Williams has died at the age of 49, Sheffield Wednesday have announced.

The club said he died in the US, where he was a mentor and a coach.

The news came as the Owls and Forest were coming to terms with the death of former striker Trevor Francis, who was 69 and passed away on Monday.

"Bart-Williams' untimely passing mirrors that of his manager at Hillsborough, Trevor Francis, who also died on this, one of the darkest days in our long history," a statement from the club said.

"Our thoughts are with Chris' and Trevor's families and friends at this devastating time."

Sierra Leone-born Bart-Williams, who began his career as a trainee at Leyton Orient, made more than 150 appearances for Wednesday and went on to play in the 1993 FA Cup final and replay, the same year the team also reached the League Cup final.

Chris Bart-Williams played in a FA Cup final for Sheffield Wednesday
Image: Bart-Williams died in the US, where he worked as a coach

Bart-Williams, who grew up in London and represented England at U21 level, then earned a £2.5m move to the City Ground in July 1995.

He won the First Division title in 1997/98 with Forest and was the club's top scorer and player of the year in 2000/01, despite largely playing as a defensive midfielder.

Bart-Williams played 248 games for Forest and later had spells with Charlton and Ipswich, before finishing his playing career with stints in Cyprus and Malta.

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Kevin Campbell reminisces about his friend and former teammate Chris Bart-Williams, who sadly passed away last night.

He then embarked on a coaching career in the United States, initially working in women's college football.

Describing himself on his social media accounts as "coach, college recruiter, former footballer", Bart-Williams was owner and chief executive of US College Soccer recruiting agency CBW Soccer Elite, working with college-bound players.

In February last year, Florida-based Dade County announced Bart-Williams had been appointed as its head coach to oversee all its football programmes.

News of his death was greeted with shock by former team-mate Mark Crossley.

The goalkeeper, who played with Bart-Williams at Forest, tweeted: "Devastating and I'm so upset to hear the news of Trevor Francis passing and my former team-mate Chris Bart-Williams, both so young, it is so sad, RIP Trevor and Chris."

Ipswich also offered their condolences, posting: "The club is saddened to learn of the passing of former player Chris Bart-Williams. Once a Blue, always a Blue."

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