Former England manager Venables dies aged 80

Former England manager Terry Venables has died aged 80 after a long illness.

Venables managed England from 1994 to 1996, most notably leading them to the semi-finals of Euro 96 on home soil.

A former England player, he also managed Barcelona and Tottenham.

“We are completely devastated by the loss of a wonderful husband and father, who passed away peacefully yesterday after a long illness,” the family said in a statement.

“We ask for privacy at this incredibly sad time so that we can mourn the loss of this dear man, who we were so fortunate to have in our lives.”

Venables won La Liga and reached the European Cup final with Barcelona, ​​and won the FA Cup with Tottenham.

As a player he won two England caps and made more than 500 club appearances between 1960 and 1975, largely for Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers and Tottenham.

‘The best, most innovative coach’

Former England captain Gary Linekerwho signed Venables for Barcelona and Spurs, told the BBC: “He wasn’t a coach or just a manager, but a friend. He was charming, charismatic, witty, but he was also tough – and that was what you had to be.”

“He understood football, he had an incredible football brain.”

Ex-skipper from England Alan Scheerdera member of the Euro 96 squad, said: “Extremely sad news. The great Terry Venables has passed away. RIP Boss. I owe you so much. You were amazing.”

Current England manager Gareth Southgatewhose penalty was saved in the semi-final shootout defeat to Germany, Venables described as “a brilliant man who made people feel special”.

He said: “Any player will have a great affinity with the manager who gave him the opportunity, but when he played for Terry Venables it quickly became clear that he was an excellent coach and manager.

“Tactically excellent, he had a great manner and could deal with everyone from the youngest player to the biggest star.

“He was open-minded, forward-thinking, enjoyed life to the fullest and created a brilliant environment with England in which his players could flourish and play one of the most memorable tournaments in English history.”

Paul Gascoigne, who played under Venables for England and Tottenham, said: “What a sad day, cheers boss.”

Tottenham held a minute of applause for that Sunday’s home game in the Premier League against Aston Villa and both sets of players wore black armbands.

Spurs said they were “extremely saddened to hear of the passing of our former player and manager”.

Current administrator Ange Postecoglou Speaking to Sky Sports: “If you ask for one person who embodies everything this football club has always wanted to be, it’s Terry. It wasn’t just about the way he led or coached; it was about the person he was.

“He also influenced Australia. He was the manager of the national team and almost got us to the World Cup, but the biggest testament is that everyone I have ever met who has worked with him will say he is by far the best .” coach, manager and tactician they have encountered.”

Tottenham and Villa players pay tribute to Terry Venables during their Premier League match on Sunday

Former England defender Gary Neville said Venables was “without doubt the most technically gifted British coach we have ever produced”.

“A man who gave me the opportunity to play for my country and who became without doubt my most important England coach of my entire career,” said Neville.

“England certainly needed more like him and it was really sad when he left at the end of Euro 96. I felt like things for England were never going to be as good as they were under him.”

Barcelona They said they “deeply regret the passing of Terry Venables, who managed Barça from 1984 to 1987.”

From Chelsea apprentice to England boss – the career of ‘El Tel’

Venables, pictured with former Tottenham chairman Sir Alan Sugar, won the FA Cup with Spurs in 1991
Venables with Tottenham chairman Alan Sugar in 1991

Midfielder Venables joined Chelsea as a fifteen-year-old in 1958 and made his debut against West Ham in 1960.

He went on to make 202 league appearances for Chelsea, including winning the League Cup, before playing for Tottenham, QPR and Crystal Palace.

Venables went on to coach alongside Malcolm Allison at Third Division Palace after retiring as a player during the 1974–75 season.

He succeeded Allison in 1976 and, after promotion to the Second Division in 1977, took them to the top as champions in 1979.

A four-year spell at QPR – and another promotion to the First Division – followed between 1980 and 1984 before Venables was appointed manager of Barcelona on the recommendation of England boss Bobby Robson.

Nicknamed ‘El Tel’, Venables led Barca to the La Liga title in 1985 – their first since 1974 – and the following season’s European Cup final, where they lost on penalties to Steaua Bucharest.

He was sacked by Barcelona in 1987 and returned to English football to manage Tottenham and win the FA Cup in 1991.

But Venables was sacked in 1993 after his relationship with chairman Alan Sugar broke down.

Later that year, the BBC program Panorama alleged mistreatment in connection with Venables’ companies, to which he responded by threatening defamation action.

Venables was overlooked as England manager when Graham Taylor took the job in 1990, but was appointed in 1994.

England qualified as hosts for the 1996 European Championship, where they achieved memorable victories over the Netherlands and Scotland.

Venables withdrew after their semi-final defeat at Wembley.

He subsequently managed Australia, Palace, Middlesbrough and Leeds United.

He returned to England in 2006 as Steve McClaren’s assistant, but left after they failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

Nottingham Forest's Brian Clough and Tottenham's Terry Venables lead the teams hand-in-hand for the 1991 FA Cup Final
Nottingham Forest’s Brian Clough and Tottenham’s Venables lead the teams hand-in-hand before the 1991 FA Cup Final

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