LEN Ashurst, the legendary manager who led Newport County to quarter-finals of the European Cup Winners Cup, has died at the age of 82.

Ashurst was in charge at Somerton Park between 1978 and 1982, the most successful period of the club's history.

He led the Ironsides to a double in 1980, earning promotion to the third tier of English football with a third-placed finish and lifting the Welsh Cup.

That celebrated side, which contained the likes of Tommy Tynan, John Relish and John Aldridge, made it to the last eight of Europe in 1982 when edged out by Carl Zeiss Jena 3-2 on aggregate.

Ashurst was sacked the following year but went on to win promotion with Cardiff City in 1983.

He is a Sunderland great and holds the record for appearances for an outfield player with 458.

Ashurst played for England at youth level and signed for Wolves after being released by Liverpool.

He then moved to Sunderland and was a mainstay of the team from the late 1950s through to the early 1970s.

He was player-manager at Hartlepool and went on to manage Gillingham, Sheffield Wednesday, County, the Bluebirds and Sunderland.

Ashurst manged the national sides of Kuwait and Qatar, as well as Al-Wakrah in Qatar and coaching in Malaysia.

After management, he was influential in helping the FA create the academy system and spent many years assessing match officials in the Premier League.

South Wales Argus:

Ashurst is a Newport icon after guiding County to the quarters of the Cup Winners Cup, earned with Welsh Cup final glory over Shrewsbury Town in 1980.

The Ironsides beat Crusaders of Ireland 4-0 and then beat Norwegian club SK Haugar 6-0 in the second round.

They went up against East German club Carl Zeiss Jena and claimed a surprise 2-2 draw in the away leg thanks to a brace by Tynan.

County fell behind in front of 18,000 at Somerton Park in the first half and piled on the pressure only to be denied by an inspired performance by Jena goalkeeper Hans-Ulrich Grapenthin.

Ashurst was replaced by Colin Addison in 1982, with the team coming agonising close to winning promotion from the Third Division the following year.