Former Preston North End scout Clive Middlemass has died age 77

Former Preston North End chief scout Clive Middlemass has died age 77.

Middlemass passed away peacefully in the early hours of Monday morning.

Born in Sheffield, Middlemass – a defender – started his career with Leeds, without making the first team, but went on to make 169 Football League appearances, all with Workington, before a car accident – when he was hit by a lorry – saw him suffer injuries which forced him to retire in 1970.

He was assistant to Terry Cooper at Bristol Rovers and then Bristol City, before four years as manager at Carlisle United.

Clive Middlemass during his time as chief scout of PNE.

Middlesmass then had a brief stint as first team coach at Darlington, before becoming assistant to Jimmy Mullen at Burnley in 1992 after their Fourth Division title success.

He was briefly caretaker manager in 1996 after the departure of Mullen, and was assistant manager to Adrian Heath and then chief scout under Chris Waddle.

In 1998, he left for PNE to become chief scout under David Moyes, and stayed during the tenures of Craig Brown and Billy Davies, before, in 2006, he left alongside Davies to take over as chief scout at Derby County

In 2010, he again joined Moyes as an opposition scout at Everton, until 2013.