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#Obituary #Legends

Obituary | Terry Venables

Sun 26 November 2023, 12:00|Tottenham Hotspur

We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Terry Venables, our former player, manager and chief executive, who passed away on Saturday. He was 80.

An FA Cup winner at Spurs as a player (1967) and manager (1991), Terry joined us from Chelsea in 1966 and made 141 appearances for us in all competitions, scoring nine goals, until departing for QPR in 1969.

However, it's as a manager he'll be most remembered. Taking his first steps into coaching at Crystal Palace in 1975/76, Terry succeeded Malcolm Allison as manager in 1976, returned to QPR in 1980 and was then appointed by Barcelona, where 'El Tel' won La Liga in 1985 and the Copa de la Liga in 1986. He also led Barcelona to the European Cup Final in 1986, but lost out to Steaua Bucharest.

Terry returned 'home' to White Hart Lane as manager in 1987 and built a team around the likes of goalkeeper Erik Thorstvedt, skipper Gary Mabbutt, genial midfielder Paul Gascoigne and England great Gary Lineker that finished third in the old First Division in 1989/90 before winning the FA Cup in 1991.

Terry took over as England manager in 1994 and led the national team to the semi-finals of Euro 96 - famously beating the Netherlands 4-1 at Wembley but agonisingly losing out on penalties to Germany in the semi-final. He later managed Australia, Palace again, Middlesbrough and Leeds United.

A Spurs fan growing up, Terry was born in Dagenham, east London, and played for England Schoolboys in 1958 before signing as a Chelsea amateur later that year. He made his Football League debut aged 17 on 6 February, 1960 against West Ham and soon gained England youth and amateur honours.

A member of Chelsea’s 1960 FA Youth Cup winning side, he joined their professional ranks in August, 1960 and retained the Youth Cup at the end of the season. He added Under-23 and full England caps to his tally during 1963 and 1964 and was part of Chelsea’s League Cup success in 1965/66.

Terry signed for us on 9 May, 1966 and made his Spurs debut at Blackburn that same day. Twelve months later, he found himself facing his former team-mates in the first all-London FA Cup Final. He moved to QPR in June, 1969 and ended his playing career with Crystal Palace during 1974/75 before embarking on a lengthy career in coaching and management.

He steered Palace from the Third Division to the First Division in just four years, before revisiting QPR, guiding them to the FA Cup Final in 1982 - where they lost after a replay to Spurs, as we retained the trophy - and promotion to the First Division a year later. In 1984, La Liga giants Barcelona lured Venables to the Nou Camp and he led them to the Spanish title in his first season and the European Cup Final in 1986, only to lose on penalties to Romania side Steaua Bucharest.

Terry overcame a tough time initially after returning to Spurs as manager but with that England international spine of Mabbutt, Gazza and Lineker together, finished third in 1989/90 and then memorably lifted the FA Cup in 1991, beating Arsenal in the semi-final - preventing the Gunners winning the double - before overcoming the odds on the day to topple Forest at Wembley.

After Spurs, Venables enjoyed possibly his finest moment as a coach by leading an attractive England side to the semi-finals of Euro 96 before that agonising loss against Germany. After spells in the dugout with Australia, Palace again, Middlesbrough and Leeds United, his last senior coaching was back with the Three Lions as assistant to Steve McLaren from 2006-2007.

We extend our sincere condolences at this sad time to Terry’s wife, Yvette, his close family and friends.

In tribute, we shall hold a minute’s applause prior to kick-off and our players will wear black armbands during this afternoon’s Premier League fixture against Aston Villa.