New Leyton Orient signing Josh Wright has paid tribute to Justin Edinburgh after he signed for the club on a free transfer, becoming Edinburgh’s last signing before his death last week.

Wright’s free transfer from Bradford City was announced on Friday and, in an interview posted on the club’s Twitter account, he spoke at length about Edinburgh, who was his manager at Gillingham, and the effect the boss had on him returning to E10.

He said: “Justin signed me and this was all done when Justin was around. He will always be around for me and for many other people involved with the football club. I’m proud of that, to be, if you like, his last signing that he made.

“Justin, to me, wasn’t just a gaffer or a work colleague, manager, boss, whatever you want to call it. He was much more, he became a friend someone I could trust and lean on and I’ll always remember him and thank him and hold him in the highest regard.

“We connected with a special bond and I could sit here and talk to you for hours about him but for whatever reason, in life you sometimes connect with someone or something and me and him did that straight away. I don’t know why. I think I see a lot of me in him and he actually said that to me before, that he sees a lot of himself in me.”

That relationship that Wright and Edinburgh developed from their time at Gillingham grew, so much so that they became friends outside of the footballing environment.

Wright said: “He’s just had a hold on me and an effect on me that no one else has really ever had and with that I became, and this is no secret and I’m not afraid to say it, close with the family. He was at my wedding this time last year, his wife was and his two children and they’re an unbelievable family that, again, I see my family in them and I’d like to think likewise.

“Charlie [Justin’s son] has become a very, very close friend of mine. He means the absolute world to me, like Justin does.

“I was signing here of course for the club, Leyton Orient, and everything else that comes with it because this is an unbelievable club with a fantastic fan base but the icing on the cake was Justin being the manager and that was big, big thing for me.

“To lose him, or for God to take him if you like because God has taken a special person there, on the day that I signed is weird and it’s made it all so much stranger and surreal for me. Words can’t explain it but the man is an absolute legend and a hero of mine and I just want to make him proud out there now.”