Former England manager, Terry Venables passes away, aged 80

Source: BBC Sport

Former England manager Terry Venables has died at the age of 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.

He also had spells in charge of Barcelona, Tottenham and Australia.

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

“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 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 Lineker, whom Venables signed for Barcelona, said: “Devastated to hear that Terry Venables has died. 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.”

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

Tottenham will hold a minute’s applause before Sunday’s home Premier League match against Aston Villa and players would wear black armbands.

“The club is extremely saddened to learn of the passing of former player and manager Terry Venables,” said Spurs.

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

He said: “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.

“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.”

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

“A man who gave me a chance to play for my country and became without a shadow of doubt my number one England coach in my whole career,” said Neville.

“England certainly needed more like him and it was a real sadness when he left at the end of Euro 96. I felt it never got as good again for England as it was under him.”

The League Managers’ Association said: “The LMA is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of LMA member and former LMA president Terry Venables.”

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

Midfielder Venables joined Chelsea in 1958 as a 15-year-old and made his debut against West Ham in 1960.

He went on to play 202 games for Chelsea, including winning the League Cup, before spells at Tottenham, QPR and Crystal Palace.

Venables moved into coaching alongside Malcolm Allison at Third Division Palace after retiring as a player during the 1974-75 season.

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

A four-year stint with QPR – and another promotion to the First Division – followed between 1980 and 1984 before Venables was appointed Barcelona manager 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 to Steaua Bucharest on penalties.

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

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

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

Venables stood down after their semi-final defeat at Wembley.

He went on to manage Australia, Palace again, Middlesbrough and Leeds United.

He returned to the England set-up as assistant to Steve McClaren in 2006, but left after they failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

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