Les Clitheroe – who scouted Man United star Dan James – dies aged 71

Veteran scout Les Clitheroe – who discovered Manchester United star Daniel James – dies aged 71 following battle with a long illness

  • Les Clitheroe was a scout who boasted a top-flight star among his successes
  • He spotted Daniel James, who had a breakout campaign at Man United last term
  • Clitheroe – who was also a schoolteacher – has died aged 71 after an illness 

Les Clitheroe, the scout who discovered talents such as Manchester United winger Daniel James, has died after a long illness.

The 71-year-old, also a schoolteacher, had been working with football agency ICM Stellar Sports for over 20 years as well as spending time with Everton’s school of excellence.

Clitheroe coached Sunday League sides and was a close friend of former United, West Ham and Luton goalkeeper Les Sealey. 

Veteran football scout Les Clitheroe has died at the aged of 71 after a long battle with illness

He spotted Manchester United’s breakout star of last season, Welshman Daniel James

Indeed, it was Clitheroe who put together Sealey’s autobiography ‘Definitely Mental’ that was printed posthumously.

Stellar Executive Chairman Jonathan Barnett said: ‘Les was a one of a kind character: hard working, loyal, and above all had an incredible eye for talent that could not be overlooked.

‘Coming from an education background, Les continued to teach many of the players he had brought to Stellar and helped lead them into successful footballing careers, something he and everyone at ICM Stellar Sports can be very proud of. 

James continues to thrive in the Premier League after being discovered by the ‘loyal’ scout

‘I can truly say that it was a privilege to have known him and to have worked with him over the last 20 years. 

‘He is a great loss to Stellar and his legacy will not be forgotten. Les will always be part of the Stellar family, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Andrea, and their family.’

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