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‘Everything was alright when he was around’ - tributes to Justin

Mon 10 June 2019, 18:15|Tottenham Hotspur

Tears have flowed, and so have tributes. The sudden passing of Justin Edinburgh on Saturday remains tough to comprehend, taken too early at the age of 49.

Justin spent 10 years at Spurs, playing 276 times for us after joining from Southend United in January, 1990. He won the FA Cup at the end of his first full season in May, 1991 and later the League Cup in 1999.

He turned to coaching and management after retiring in 2002 and after spells at Rushden & Diamonds, Newport County, Gillingham and Northampton, had just taken Leyton Orient back into the Football League after winning the National League title.

A regular for Spurs Legends and part of our matchday hospitality team when Orient duties allowed, Justin's career in the game spanned 33 years.

A gentleman off the pitch and such a wonderful character, Justin made a lot of friends along the way, friends still coming to terms with this sad, sad news.

Darren Anderton

Team-mate 1992-2000, League Cup winner 1999, Spurs Legends team-mate

“Words can’t explain it, really. I always got on so well with Justin. There were lots of ups and downs during our time at Spurs but off the pitch, he always had that smile and whenever you were around him, you were always laughing at something he was doing or saying or just smiling together. He always had that attitude and was great fun to be around. I’ve always kept in touch with him, we played in the Spurs Legends games together, met each other doing the Club’s hospitality on matchdays and it was always great to see him. You always felt everything was alright when he was around, good fun, even during the most tedious of things like pre-season training or waiting around when we were travelling, he was always there, messing around, making us smile. I roomed with him a lot as well. Great, great fun. He was so reliable on the football pitch, so underrated and so reliable as a guy off of it. I can’t speak highly enough of him. I can’t quite get my head around it and can’t believe how sad it all is.” 

David Howells

Team-mate 1990-1998, FA Cup winner 1991, Spurs Legends team-mate

"We were all together last Saturday in Madrid, I said goodbye Sunday morning and that we’d talk soon. He was getting prepared for the season with Leyton Orient and we were going to talk about players. It’s just an awful, awful shock to hear the news. He was the type of player you always wanted on your team, even in a training game. He always gave everything.

"He understood the game and it’s no surprise he became a successful manager, tactically aware, no-one really used to run him ragged, he was so competitive. Justin was a regular in the Legends team, we had lots of fun over the last few years. We’ve had some quality times together, fond memories."

Gary Mabbutt

Team-mate and captain, 1990-98, FA Cup winner 1991

"I’m devastated. I still can’t believe it. Just over a week ago, we were in Madrid together. He was full of joy, just got promotion with Orient, just been at Wembley for the FA Trophy Final, Spurs in the Champions League Final and he was looking forward to next season. He was sat behind me on the plane with David Howells and we spoke the whole time. We were team-mates for eight years. I used to play on the left of central defence, he was left-back. In those eight years, I can’t remember us having a cross word once, on or off the field. That’s very unusual. We got on really well as team-mates, colleagues and friends, and we’ve been friends for a long time. He managed that transition from a player to a coach and manager, and that can be difficult. A lot of players can’t do that. He crossed that barrier with ease and gained respect from everyone. Fans loved him. He was a great person to be around, great company. Life just isn’t fair."

Teddy Sheringham

Team-mate, 1992-97

"Justin was a proper left-back, always looking for a tackle, always looking for a fight, so tenacious. To play for Tottenham for 10 years you have to be a decent player, and he was, very underrated in the era we played in. He was a proper defender. He knew his strengths, his weaknesses and worked on both. He took that into management. What a great lad as well, fantastic. He was great to have around. The news that he passed away has really blown me away, to be honest. You go into a friendship when you play for five years, you learn a player's character and what they are all about. He was fantastic. It’s just so unexpected, out of the blue. It’s such a shock."

Mark Falco

Co-manager of Spurs Legends team, Spurs 1979-86

"We were all in Madrid together. We got back on Sunday and I said 'see you next week' because we had Spurs Legends game. Then that news came through, 49-years-old, I can't believe it. He was happy, joking, couldn't wait for next season. You just couldn't see this happening. Justin was great to be around, always had a smile on his face. He had so much time for people after our Legends' games, so enthusiastic. He was a joy to be with and will be sadly missed."