Gareth Southgate pays tribute to ‘outstanding coach’ Terry Venables

Former England strikers Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer were also among those paying tribute.

Carl Markham
Sunday 26 November 2023 16:22 GMT
Gareth Southgate (left), pictured with Terry Venables, has paid tribute to the former England manager following his death aged 80 (Michael Stephens/PA).
Gareth Southgate (left), pictured with Terry Venables, has paid tribute to the former England manager following his death aged 80 (Michael Stephens/PA).

England manager Gareth Southgate has lauded Terry Venables as a “brilliant man who made people feel special” after his death at the age of 80.

Southgate famously missed the crucial penalty in the semi-final shoot-out against Germany as Venables’ side came up just short in Euro 96 on home soil.

“Any player will have great affinity with the manager that gave them their opportunity, but it was quickly evident playing for Terry Venables that he was an outstanding coach and manager,” he said in a statement.

“Tactically excellent, he had a wonderful manner, capable of handling everyone from the youngest player to the biggest star.

“He was open-minded, forward-thinking, enjoyed life to the full and created a brilliant environment with England that allowed his players to flourish and have one of the most memorable tournaments in England history.

“A brilliant man, who made people feel special, I’m very sad to hear of his passing and my thoughts are with Yvette and all of his family.”

Venables managed Barcelona and Tottenham before he took over England and Gary Lineker followed El Tel to Catalunya and White Hart Lane.

“Devastated to hear that Terry Venables has died. The best, most innovative coach that I had the privilege and pleasure of playing for,” Lineker wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“He was much more, though, than just a great manager, he was vibrant, he was charming, he was witty, he was a friend.

“He’ll be hugely missed. Sending love and condolences to Yvette and the family. RIP Terry.”

Former England striker Alan Shearer, who was the spearhead of Venables’ Euro 96 side, posted: “Extremely sad news the great Terry Venables has passed away. RIP Boss. I owe you so much. You were amazing.”

Gary Neville, who was given his international debut by Venables, paid tribute to his character and approach to management – particularly in relation to the infamous dentist’s chair incident in the build-up to Euro 96.

“He was an unbelievable personality and character, larger than life,” Neville wrote on X.

“He was someone who was a players’ man, looked after his players, stood up for his players in big situations like the pre-96 trip to Hong Kong and the dentist chair incident.

“He was someone who the players trusted and had great faith in and he always spoke openly and he was a personality that was far too big for the then rigid and stiff FA and that’s why they got rid of him after Euro 96 and why the relationship ended.

“I sit here today thinking back to my special times with Terry and can say he is without doubt the most technically gifted British coach we’ve ever produced.”

Current Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou paid tribute to Venables ahead of their home match with Aston Villa, at which players will wear black armbands and there will be a minute’s applause.

“If you are asking about a person who embodies everything this football club has always wanted to be, it is Terry,” Postecoglou told Sky Sports.

“It wasn’t just about the way he managed or coached, it was the person he was.”

Venables coached Postecoglou’s home nation between 1997 and 1998 and the Spurs boss added: “he influenced Australia as well.

“He was the manager for the national team and almost got us to the World Cup, but the biggest testament is that anyone who I have ever come across that has worked with him will say he is by far the best coach, manager and tactician they have come across.”

Bryan Robson coached alongside Venables with England and Middlesbrough.

He said on the Manchester United website: “Terry was a brilliant coach to work with and I learned so much from him. He was very good tactically, but also a great motivator and communicator.

“I first worked with him as a player when he was coaching with England Under-21s under Dave Sexton and they were both a great support to me when I broke my leg in my early years at West Brom.

“My international playing career had come to an end by the time he took over as England manager, but he brought me back as a coach and that was a brilliant experience working with him and Don Howe at Euro 96 when we got to the semi-finals.

“Later, when I was Middlesbrough manager, we were going through a tough period and I wanted to bring in a top coach, so I asked Terry and we made a great partnership.

“Everyone who worked with Terry will always remember him as someone who lived life with a smile on his face.”

Steve McClaren brought Venables back into the England set-up as his assistant when he was appointed manager in 2006.

He said: “Terry was a true gentleman and a coach always ahead of his time. Working with him for England was a pleasure and an education, and he helped me enormously to deal with the pressures around the job.

“His wit, smile and positive attitude will be sadly missed. RIP Terry.”

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