Former England manager Terry Venables has died at the age of 80 following a long battle with illness.
Venables masterminded England’s memorable run to the semi-finals of Euro ’96 after a successful club career as a player and then as a coach.
He is survived by his wife of 32 years Yvette. A statement from the Venables family read: ‘We are totally devastated by the loss of a wonderful husband and father who passed away peacefully yesterday [Saturday] 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 were were so lucky to have had in our lives.’
Match of the Day host Gary Lineker, whom Venables signed for Barcelona from Everton in 1986 and then brought to Tottenham in 1989 after he took the job at White Hart Lane, paid his own tribute.
Terry Venables, pictured as England manager ahead of Euro ’96, has died at the age of 80
Venables comforts Gareth Southgate after he missed the decisive semi-final penalty in 1996
Venables pictured at his hotel near Alicante in Spain during an interview earlier this year
Venables and his wife Yvette pictured at their 10-room hotel in Alicante, Spain
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‘Devastated to hear that Terry Venables has died. The best, most innovative coach that I had the privilege and pleasure of playing for,’ he 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.’
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.’
A midfielder for Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers during a 15-year top level playing career, Venables won two caps for England.
Moving into coaching, he guided Crystal Palace from the third division to the first in the late 1970s, before taking QPR to the 1982 FA Cup final as a second-tier outfit.
‘El Tel’ attracted the attention of prominent European clubs and took over at Barcelona in 1984, where he won the LaLiga title in 1985 and reached the 1986 European Cup final.
Venables won the FA Cup with Tottenham in 1991 but is best remembered for being England’s manager for their run to the semi-finals of Euro ’96 on home turf.
The midfielder made his debut for Chelsea in 1960 before joining Tottenham six years later
Venables became known as ‘El Tel’ after leading Barcelona to the Spanish league title in 1985
Venables with his assistant Allan Harris and striker Steve Archibald at the Nou Camp in 1984
Overcoming pre-tournament scandal when Paul Gascoigne and others were photographed drunk in a Hong Kong nightclub, the Three Lions achieved unforgettable wins over Scotland and Holland.
Eliminating Spain on penalties in the quarter-finals, they suffered an agonising shoot-out loss to Germany in the last four, with current England boss Gareth Southgate missing the decisive kick.
Venables would later coach Australia, Palace a second time, Middlesbrough alongside Bryan Robson and Leeds, before returning to the England set-up as part of Steve McClaren’s staff.
Tottenham will hold a minute’s applause and players will wear black armbands for Sunday’s fixture at home to Aston Villa.
‘We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Terry Venables, our former player, manager and chief executive, who passed away on Saturday,’ said a club statement.
‘We extend our sincere condolences at this sad time to Terry’s wife, Yvette, his close family and friends.’
Venables signed both Paul Gascoigne (L) and Gary Lineker (R) during his time as Spurs boss
Born in Dagenham, east London, as war raged in 1943, Venables went to live with his maternal grandparents aged 13 and his love of football was nurtured.
It wasn’t long before the talented schoolboy was attracting interest from Chelsea, Tottenham, West Ham and Manchester United, as well as turning out for England’s youth teams.
Venables chose Chelsea, signing apprentice terms at Stamford Bridge in 1958. He believed he stood a better chance of cracking the first team there, while the Blues also offered his father Fred a scouting job.
Having won the FA Youth Cup in consecutive seasons in 1960 and 1961, Venables was dubbed ‘the new Duncan Edwards’ when he made his senior debut for Chelsea against West Ham in February 1960.
Under Tommy Docherty, Venables established himself as a regular even if player and coach didn’t always see eye-to-eye. Chelsea slipped down to the second division in 1962 but returned at the first attempt and would achieve a fifth-place finish in the top-tier.
In what was a clear signpost for his future career, Venables took his FA coaching badges aged only 24, achieving a pass mark of 95 per cent.
He helped Chelsea win the League Cup in 1965, the first of many medals he’d collect, before joining Tottenham in a deal worth £80,000 the following year.
Making his presence instantly felt by punching Spurs club legend Dave Mackay during training, Venables went on to play a key role as they lifted the FA Cup in 1967, beating Chelsea 2-1 in the final.
Venables took charge of a Rest of the World XI featuring Diego Maradona at Wembley in 1987
Tottenham boss Venables holds hands with Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough as they lead out their sides at the 1991 FA Cup final
Venables lost just one of his 23 matches in charge of the Three Lions between 1994 and 1996
But having felt unappreciated by manager Bill Nicholson, Venables moved on to Queens Park Rangers in the summer of 1969.
Although a second division side when he joined, Venables described his move to Loftus Road as ‘blessed with good fortune’ and they finally cracked promotion to the top-flight in 1973.
Venables ended his playing days with another London club, Crystal Palace, before arthritis forced him into retirement in 1974.
Despite representing his country at schoolboy, youth, amateur and under-23 level, England recognition was scant.
He won only two caps, both coming in 1964, but then Alf Ramsey’s World Cup winners were not short of quality. Venables made the longlist for the competition but not the final cut of 22.
Palace joined Malcolm Allison’s coaching staff at Selhurst Park straight after hanging up his boots before succeeding him as manager in 1976.
Placing full faith in youth, Venables built a successful Palace side dubbed the ‘team of the Eighties’ by the media. Peter Taylor was among them.
They won promotion to the second division in 1976-77 having finished third and two years later made it up to the top-flight as champions.
It occurred in slightly bizarre circumstances with Palace beating Burnley in a rearranged game played several days after all their promotion rivals had completed their seasons.
Venables has two spells in charge at Crystal Palace and stints at Middlesbrough and Leeds
Venables on the ball for Tottenham in 1967, just after their FA Cup triumph over Chelsea
A young Pep Guardiola (left) watches as Venables celebrates success with Barcelona
The win saw Palace leapfrog Brighton, Stoke and Sunderland to take top spot, denying their M23 rivals the title.
Venables’ team briefly topped the Football League that September but propped up the division when he departed for QPR in October 1980 amid financial strife.
Rangers were a second division side when they reached the 1982 FA Cup final, losing after a replay to his old club Tottenham.
Venables did take them up into the first division as champions in 1983, however, and it wasn’t long before glamorous Barcelona were knocking on his door.
Recommended for the job by Bobby Robson, his appointment at the Nou Camp coined the nickname ‘El Tel’ and proved a great success.
In three seasons in Catalonia, he guided Barcelona to their first league title in 11 years and also a Copa del Rey final.
But they couldn’t quite conquer Europe, losing to Steaua Bucharest on penalties in the 1986 European Cup final in Seville.
Setting Barcelona up in a 4-4-2, Venables brought British strikers Gary Lineker and Mark Hughes over to Spain with varying degrees of success.
Returning to England in 1987, Venables took over at Tottenham, helping them to the 1991 FA Cup after a 2-1 win over Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest.
He later moved upstairs as chief executive following Alan Sugar’s takeover at White Hart Lane, having been passed over for the England job in favour of Graham Taylor in 1990.
Tottenham mark their FA Cup final victory over Nottingham Forest in 1991
Venables shares a joke with Scotland boss Craig Brown ahead of Euro 96, when England so very nearly got their hands on the trophy
But after Taylor failed to get England to the 1994 World Cup, Venables was given a shot even if there was discord in some quarters over his business dealings.
England qualified for Euro 96 automatically as hosts, leaving them playing a succession of tune-up friendlies. But ahead of the tournament, it was announced Glenn Hoddle would be replacing him regardless of how England performed.
Things started inauspiciously after pictures of Gascoigne and other players in the ‘Dentist’s Chair’ in a Hong Kong bar were plastered over the front pages.
But Venables kept faith with Gazza and was repaid with a stunning solo goal in the 2-0 group stage win over Scotland, before a 4-1 win over the Netherlands Venables described as ‘perfection’.
After a jittery win over Spain, England led through Alan Shearer in the Wembley semi-final with Germany, only to succumb on penalties when Southgate’s kick was saved.
He returns to England coaching duty during the ill-fated spell of Steve McClaren
His coaching career continued after that, with Australia and back at Palace, but without the earlier success. He coached Middlesbrough alongside Robson and was in charge of Leeds as their big spending caught up with them.
In 2014, Venables and his second wife Yvette opened a boutique hotel and restaurant in Penaguila, Spain, which they ran for five years.
Yvette had earlier helped run Venables’ private members club, Scribes West, in Kensington.
Post source: Daily mail