Former English footballer Brian Whitehouse breathed his last at the age of 81, his former club West Bromwich Albion has confirmed.

"The new year has already claimed its first Albion hero as another link in the chain between the present and the past is lost with the sad passing of Brian Whitehouse," West Brom said in a statement on Tuesday.

Whitehouse was also a striker at clubs like Norwich City, Crystal Palace and Charlton Athletic.

After his playing career, he joined Manchester United's coaching staff under Ron Atkinson in 1981. He also went on to coach the reserve side at United.

"He was a diligent member of Albion's Former Players' Association, often to be seen at the Hawthorns (stadium)," West Brom said in a statement.

"A warm and generous man, besotted by football to the end, he will be sadly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."