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Former England manager Terry Venables dies aged 80

Former England manager Terry Venables has died at the age of 80.

His family said in a statement: “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.”

As a player he made more than 500 appearances for Chelsea, Tottenham, QPR and Crystal Palace but made his real mark as a coach, serving as manager of Barcelona and winning the FA Cup in 1991 as Spurs boss.

Seen playing for Chelsea in 1960, Terry Venables made more than 500 appearances for clubs including Chelsea, Tottenham, QPR and Crystal Palace. (Photo: Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty)

He managed the England team from 1994 to 1996, facing intense media scrutiny and a number of court battles over his business dealings during his spell in charge. He bowed out after the 1996 European Championship, which saw England suffer a painful penalty shootout defeat to Germany in the semi-final.

Gary Neville, who was given his international debut by Venables in 1996, said: “He was an unbelievable personality and character, larger than life.

“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.”

Alan Shearer, another member of the 1996 squad, said on social media: “RIP Boss. I owe you so much. You were amazing.”

Another member of his 1996 squad was Gareth Southgate – who previously said he “learnt a lot” under Venables and praised his “fantastic tactical awareness”.

Though he stepped away from England after the 1996 tournament, Venables would rejoin the team for a stint as an assistant coach in 2006.

Venables is survived by his wife, Yvette, as well as two daughters by his first marriage to Christine McCann.

Gary Lineker, whom Venables signed for Barcelona from Everton in 1986 and then brought to Tottenham in 1989, 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. Sending love and condolences to Yvette and the family. RIP Terry.”

Richard Bevan, League Managers’ Association (LMA) chief executive 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.”

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