The man who led Sutton United through some of its greatest ever runs has sadly passed away.

A statement from the Vanarama National League club said Barrie Williams, had died in Spain, aged 79, where he had been living in retirement.

Williams managed the U's to great success during the 1980's, which included a run to the 1981 FA Trophy Final as well as a 1989 FA Cup giantkilling against First Division side Coventry City, which had won the tournament just 18 months prior.

RELATED: FA Cup memories: Sutton United legend Tony Rains recalls the moment he scored against the FA Cup winners

Current club director Micky Joyce was a member of the squad who played under Williams and said it was a pleasure being part of that successful 80's group.

"A genuinely nice guy who had time for everyone," he said.

"He was a teacher and highly respected football coach who taught me and others to accept winning and losing as the same imposters, but we won more than we lost.

"He was a scholar of the game he loved and has to be considered as one of the best managers of his generation.

"He spoke eloquently and passionately about football, his players and of course Sutton United, and has left a legacy that has been followed to this day.

"The pipe smoking bard will be missed by me and all those who he met.’’

After leaving the club in 1989 and a spell out of the game, Williams had brief spells managing Hendon and the England Women’s team before retiring to Spain, where he lived with his wife Marion until her death last year.

RELATED: FA Cup shocks

Current manager Paul Doswell took to Twitter to offer his condolences.

"I was so pleased to meet Barrie Williams at a recent home game," he said.

"Like John Rains, a club legend who has sadly left us.

"Proud to of met both these great men and honoured to follow in their footsteps.

"Barrie created SUFC history and will never be forgotten."

He is survived by his daughter Lesley, grandchildren Lewis and Hannah and two great-grandchildren. His son Steven predeceased him.