FORMER Leyton Orient striker Sammy Winston has died aged 44.
Winston started his career at Tottenham, where he came through the academy ranks.
After hanging up his boots be became a firefighter.
During his career, he helped Spurs reach the final of the FA Youth Cup final, in a stellar academy side.
In 1996, he signed for Leyton Orient in the fourth division, making 11 league appearances, scoring on his debut.
That was before joining fifth division side Yeovil Town, and then on to Sutton United.
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Winston went on to play for a number of non-league sides before winding down his career in 2009.
Tributes poured in from across the football world on social media after the announcement of his death.
Leyton Orient said: "The Club is saddened to learn the news of the passing of former player Sammy Winston, aged 44.
"Everyone at Orient sends their deepest condolences to Sammy’s family and friends at this sad time."
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One fan said: "A real gent & a real life hero having joined the fire service after his playing career.
"He was still playing charity matches for an Arsenal legends side, which includes Joe Baker his old O’s team mate. RIP Sammy."
Another added: "RIP Sammy, condolences to his family & friends."
More said: "I’m absolutely gutted. Such a great fun guy who always had a smile on his face."
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