Manny Cussins died on October 5 aged 82. He died while staying at the home of one of his sons, during the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur.
Manny was a well-known workaholic, once quipping “retirement turns men into cabbages”. His road to the top of the business world began in Hull, where he was born and where, as legend has it, he pushed furniture around the streets in a handcart, selling it on behalf of his father, aged just 13.
He went on to take over the business and set up a chain - the Cussins Group, which he sold for £1m in 1954. Then he started again with the John Peter’s chain of furniture stores, ending up with 53 across the country, in addition to 38 tailoring shops in Scotland and 11 clothing factories. He was long associated with Leeds United, being co-opted onto the board in November 1961. Then, in 1972, aged 63, he took over the chairmanship at the club, succeeding Alderman Percy Woodward, who had been chair for the previous four years.
Manny described himself as an “expansion minded” chair and said his ambition was to see the club win the European Cup. He will always be remembered as the man responsible for sacking Brian Clough after just 44 days in the job. He was with the club during its glory years - Leeds became his adopted home - but also saw it fall from grace, following riots at the European Cup final in Paris, which tarnished the club’s international image for many years. Many paid tributes to him in the days after his death.