Former England, Barcelona, and Tottenham manager Terry Venables passed away at the age of 80 after a protracted illness.

Confirming the news, his family published a statement on Sunday afternoon reading: “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.”

What was Terry Venables like as a player?

Throughout his career in soccer, Terry Venables was an outstanding player, coach, and manager.

His professional career included almost 500 games for clubs like Crystal Palace, QPR, Chelsea, and Tottenham, earning two international caps for England.

During his tenure at Spurs, he achieved fame for his playing and managerial accomplishments, including the FA Cup in 1967 as a player and 1991 as a manager. But his real impact came from his time spent coaching.

Among his managerial credits are the 1990-91 FA Cup triumphs with Tottenham and coaching Crystal Palace, QPR, Leeds United, Middlesbrough, and Barcelona in La Liga.

He started managing in 1976 with Crystal Palace and returned to Loftus Road four years later. He elevated the Eagles to the Premier League from the Third Division and then guided the Hoops to the FA Cup final in 1982.

His first big trophy came in 1985 and 1986 with Barcelona, when he managed the Spanish team to La Liga and the Copa de Liga, respectively. In fact, while leading the Blaugrana, Venables became known as ‘El Tel’.  

Venables also brought Mark Hughes, a Welsh international, and Gary Lineker, an English striker, to Camp Nou.

When Venables took over as coach, the team narrowly lost the 1986 European Cup final against Steaua Bucharest.

After returning to Spurs the following year, he guided the team to the FA Cup triumph described before.

What was Terry Venables like as a manager?

In 1994, he succeeded Graham Taylor as England manager. Two years later, he led the Three Lions to a height in their history as they advanced to the semi-finals of the European championships on home turf.

Unfortunately, they were defeated by Germany on penalties.

That setback led to his being convinced to go back to Australia, where he had a short stint playing with Canterbury-Marrickville Olympic at the twilight of his career.

As manager, the expectation was that he could finally make it reach the World Cup finals after a twenty-four-year absence.

The Socceroos were impressive in high-profile friendlies under Venables’s guidance, thanks to a youthful and promising roster that included Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka, Mark Bosnich, Robbie Slater, John Aloisi, and Aurelio Vidmar. For a chance to face Iran in a play-off, they cruised through Oceania qualification.

In front of 129,000 spectators in Tehran, the opening leg finished in a 1-1 draw. Next, in the second match, they went up 2-0 with goals from Vidmar and Kewell. But Iran scored twice in the last fifteen minutes to steal a place in France after a pitch invasion halted the pace.

A month later, the Socceroos lost in the final of the Confederations Cup, having advanced to the tournament. The agony of losing out became even more acute, and Venables returned to England.

Throughout 1991 and 1993, Venables also served as chief executive of Tottenham.

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