Football: Former England, Tottenham manager Terry Venables dies after illness, aged 80

Terry Venables is honoured before Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa EPL match.
Terry Venables is honoured before Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa EPL match. Photo credit: Getty Images

Terry Venables, the former manager of England's national soccer team and Tottenham Hotspur, has died aged 80 after an illness.

Venables guided England to the semi-finals of the 1996 European Championship on home soil, before losing to Germany on penalties.

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

In addition to his spell in charge of Tottenham, during which he won the FA Cup in the 1990/91 season, he also took charge of Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Barcelona in a glittering managerial career.

During his time at Barcelona, Venables earned the nickname 'El Tel', winning LaLiga and reaching the European Cup final in 1986. Venables was also responsible for bringing British strikers Gary Lineker and Mark Hughes to the Nou Camp.

"The best, most innovative coach that I had the privilege and pleasure of playing for," tweeted Lineker, who also played under Venables at Spurs and England. "He was much more, though, than just a great manager - he was vibrant, he was charming, he was witty, he was a friend."

Venables started his professional career as a player with Chelsea in 1960, and played for Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace, before retiring to take over the manager's role there.

As a player, he made more than 500 league appearances, and won the League Cup with Chelsea in 1965 and the FA Cup with Spurs in 1967. He made two international appearances for England.

Venables also had a two-year stint as chief executive of Spurs from 1991-93.

Terry Venables at England training.
Terry Venables at England training. Photo credit: Getty Images

"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 Spurs.

Current England manager Gareth Southgate, who missed a penalty in the shootout defeat by Germany at Euro 1996, said Venables "made people feel special".

"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," said Southgate.

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

Venables also brought the mercurial Paul Gascoigne to Tottenham from Newcastle in 1988, helping him become one of the most sought-after midfielders in the world.

"Such a sad day, cheers boss," Gascoigne said.