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Former Arsenal boss and England assistant Don Howe dies

Photo credit: AFP.

Photo credit: AFP.

Don Howe, a highly-respected former Arsenal player, manager and coach, died on Wednesday, aged 80.

Howe won 23 caps for England and was also part of the national team for their two most successful tournaments in recent history, working as an assistant to both Bobby Robson and Terry Venables as they reached the semifinals of the 1990 World Cup and the 1996 European Championship.

English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke said: “It is terribly sad news and our thoughts are with Don’s family at this time.

“He is widely regarded as being in the vanguard of coaching in England and I know that his loss will be keenly felt amongst the coaching fraternity in particular and not least by Roy Hodgson, who was close to Don.”

Howe made over 300 appearances for West Brom between 1952 and 1964 and in 2004 he was named as one of the Baggies’ 16 greatest players. He was named Arsenal captain when he moved to the north London outfit, but the last two years of his playing career were marred by a broken leg that forced him to retire.

Howe became Arsenal’s reserve team coach under Bertie Mee then stepped up to first team coach in 1968. Arsenal won the English league title and FA Cup double in 1971 with Howe playing a crucial role as Mee’s assistant. He returned to his old club West Brom as manager later that year, but they were relegated to the second tier in 1973.

Howe was back at Arsenal as assistant coach in 1977 and took over as manager six years later. He earned praise for giving debuts to youngsters like Tony Adams, David Rocastle and Niall Quinn, but couldn’t win any silverware and resigned in 1986. However, Howe underlined his coaching expertise in 1988 when his influential role on Wimbledon’s backroom staff was widely credited with helping Bobby Gould’s team to their famous FA Cup final win over Liverpool.

Howe returned as Arsenal youth team coach in 1997 before retiring in 2003.

Gunners chairman Chips Keswick said:

“Don possessed a marvellous ability to get the very best out of players with his coaching techniques and provide them with the perfect preparation for matches.

“He was the very best at what he did – and he did it with us, at Arsenal, for decade after decade.”

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