Former England manager Terry Venables dies, aged 80

‘He was vibrant, he was charming, he was witty, he was a friend. He’ll be hugely missed,’ said Gary Lineker

Sonia Twigg
Sunday 26 November 2023 17:49 GMT
Former England manager Terry Venables dies aged 80

The world of football has paid tribute to former England manager and player Terry Venables, who has died at the age of 80.

Venables played twice for England but he was better known for his managerial than his playing career, and was in charge of the national side between 1994 and 1996, when he led the team to the semi-finals of the European Championship before they were knocked out on penalties by Germany.

Known as El Tel, the 80-year-old passed away on Saturday after a long illness.

A statement issued on behalf of his family said: “We are totally devastated by the loss of a wonderful husband and father who passed away peacefully yesterday after a long illness.

“We would ask that privacy be given at this incredibly sad time to allow us to mourn the loss of this lovely man who we were so lucky to have had in our lives.”

Venables was also in charge of a number of clubs throughout his lengthy career including Barcelona, Tottenham and Crystal Palace.

He then returned to the England fold for a second stint as Steve McClaren’s assistant towards the end of his career.

Venables’ former club Tottenham said: “The club is extremely saddened to learn of the passing of former player and manager Terry Venables.

“Our deepest condolences are with Terry’s friends and family at this incredibly difficult time. In tribute, we shall hold a minute’s applause prior to kick-off and our players will wear black armbands during this afternoon’s fixture against Aston Villa. Rest in peace, Terry.”

Tributes were paid to tribute to former Tottenham manager Terry Venables ahead of the club’s Premier League match against Aston Villa on Sunday

Venables played as a midfielder for Chelsea, Tottenham and QPR during a 15-year career.

But it was as a manager that he excelled, first guiding Crystal Palace from the third division to the first, then taking the then second-tier QPR to the 1982 FA Cup final.

His move to Spain in 1984 saw him lead Barcelona to the LaLiga title in 1985 and the European Cup final the following year.

Venables also won the FA Cup with Tottenham in 1991.

Current England manager Gareth Southgate said: “Any player will have a 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.

“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’s 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.”

Richard Bevan, chief executive of the League Managers’ Association said: “The LMA is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of LMA member and former LMA President Terry Venables. Our thoughts are very much with Yvette and all of Terry’s family at this time.”

Former England striker Gary Lineker paid a moving tribute of his own.

“Devastated to hear that Terry Venables has died,” the Match of the Day host said on Twitter/X.

“The best, most innovative coach that I had the privilege and pleasure of playing for. 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.”

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