BOBBY remembers Klas Ingesson, who has died of cancer at the age of 46

IngessonSweFormer Sheffield Wednesday and Sweden midfielder Klas Ingesson has died of cancer at the age of 46.

As a player Ingesson represented a string of clubs including Gothenburg in Sweden and the Italian trio of Bolgona, Bari and Lecce and played a major role in his country’s third-place finish at the 1994 World Cup. After retiring he went on to manage Elfsborg in his homeland.

Former club Wednesday said in an announcement on their website: ‘Sheffield Wednesday are saddened to learn of the passing of Klas Ingesson. Our thoughts are with Klas’ family and friends at this very sad time.

Meanhwile, Elfsborg, who are holding an immediate memorial for Ingesson, said in a statement posted on the club’s website: ‘Our thoughts are foremost with his wife and children, who were with him to the end at home in Odeshog.’

Ingesson was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009. Following treatment he was able to take over Elfsborg’s Under 21 side in October 2010, eventually being appointed manager of the senior team in September 2013.

But Ingesson’s managerial career was interrupted by the return of the cancer. He carried on bravely, managing the club to considerable success, at first aided by a walking frame to support his brittle bones and latterly a wheelchair. He missed his side’s Swedish Cup final win over Helsingborgs after falling out of his chair at half-time during an earlier league match.

He announced his decision to step down from the role at the end of the season.

‘If I’m going to be involved, I have to play a full part,’ Ingesson said after stepping down. ‘This year I have been there on and off and others have had to bear the burden. That won’t work in the long run.’

IngesonMechThere were many questions as to whether or not Ingesson should continue in the role, so he wrote an open letter to the club’s fans in the midst of his illness, saying: ‘The talk about my cancer has to end. Elfsborg and I have an agreement that I am manager for the first team.

‘Physically and mentally I don’t have a problem to do my job. I should be judged as anyone else to determine whether I am good enough for the job but then I should be judged on my competence, not my physical status.

‘It is every person’s right to be judged by who you are and what you do, not because you have an illness or a handicap.’

Ingesson was capped 57 times for Sweden and starred in the side that beat Bulgaria 4-0 to claim third place at the World Cup in United States.

Known affectionately in Sweden as ‘the Lumberjack from Odeshog’, Ingesson is survived by his wife Veronica and two sons.

 

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