Macclesfield Manager Keith Alexander who lobbied for more black managers in the football league.

Macclesfield football manager and one of the pioneers for black managers in football Keith Alexander sadly passed away at the age of 53 after fighting a long term illness.

Keith Alexander managed clubs such as Lincoln, a club he took to promotion play offs four times during his five year leadership.

He also managed Ilkeston Town and Northwich Victoria, Peterborough and became director of football for Bury.

He became manager of Macclesfield in 2008 and saved them from relegation in his first season in charge.

As a player Alexander made three international appearances for his national team St Lucia, and went on to start the Sacred Sports Foundation to help increase sporting opportunities for young children in the Caribbean.

Alexander was known for his passionate views on the lack of black managers in the football league.

In 2009 when Paul Ince was sacked as manager of Blackburn Rovers, Alexander remained the only black manager in the top flight of the football league.

This was a topic which remained close to his heart.

In an article on the MailOnline website he said, “I took Lincoln into four play-offs running, but I’ve never had a job offer higher up than League Two. You tell me why? I’ve got every coaching badge there is. I can’t do any more. You do feel that you have to prove yourself more, but that’s the same in any walk of life.”(Speck: MailOnline: 3 January, 2009)

Alexander argued that while black managers have to take the long route into football management whites managed clubs in the top flight without proving themselves.

In 2003 Alexander was diagnosed with a double cerebral aneurysm which he needed a life-saving operation for. He had a scare last year after he caught a bug that was going around but after a scan it turned out to be nothing to worry about.

He died after arriving home from Macclesfield Town’s game at Notts County on Tuesday, March 2.

He will be missed by his family, friends and many in the football league.

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