Gareth Southgate has paid tribute to the ‘outstanding’ Terry Venables after the late England manager died at the age of 80 on Sunday after a long illness.
Venables coached England between 1994 and 1996, masterminding the Three Lions’ thrilling run to the semi-final of Euro ’96 on home turf.
Southgate, the current England boss, won the first of his 57 England caps under Venables in 1995 and played nine times for England under the former Tottenham manager before he was replaced by Glenn Hoddle.
‘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,’ Southgate said in a statement.
‘Tactically excellent, he had a wonderful manner, capable of handling everyone from the youngest player to the brightest star.
Terry Venables died aged 80 on Sunday afternoon after a long illness, his family said
Gareth Southgate paid tribute to Venables, describing him as an outstanding manager
Venables (middle) consoles Southgate after the latter missed the crucial penalty in the shoot-out against Germany as England’s Euro ’96 campaign ended in the semi-final
‘He was open-minded, forward-thinking enjoyed life to the full and created a brilliant environment with England that allowed his players to flourish and have one of the most memorable tournaments in England history.
A brilliant man, who made people feel special, I’m very sad to hear of his passing and my thoughts are with Yvette and all of his family.
Venables and Southgate’s England careers were inextricably linked as the latter missed the crucial penalty in the shoot-out loss against Germany in the Euro ’96 semi-final at Wembley.
The picture of Venables embracing an unconsolable Southgate at Wembley moments after the final whistle has gone down in England folklore.
England had overcome pre-tournament scandal when Paul Gascoigne and others were photographed drunk in a Hong Kong nightclub and a draw in the opening game against Switzerland to reach the semi-final.
A 2-0 win over Scotland was followed by a 4-1 dismantling of the Netherlands, which Venables subsequently described as the best performance he’d ever seen from a team he managed.
England beat Spain on penalties in the quarter-finals, but the spot kicks proved fatal against Germany, in what would be England’s last appearance in the semi-final of a major tournament for two decades.
Under Southgate, England have since reached the last four at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020, losing the final in the latter.
Southgate said Venables was a very open-minded and forward-thinking manager
Southgate (third left) won the first of his 57 England caps under Venables in 1995
The current England boss (second right, back row) started the semi-final against Germany
And speaking to Mail Sport in 2018, Venables revealed he always felt Southgate could be a successful manager.
‘He always wanted to try something different,’ Venables reflected as he recalled a conversation with his former defender.
‘He was a centre back, but he was a thinker. He was always open to something new. On this occasion, he wanted to see me to talk more about playing out from the back.
‘We talked about how quickly – or slowly – he should come out with the ball. To go wide, rather than through the middle and into traffic.
‘He listened. I always liked him. Very intelligent. He could play. I thought he might become a very good coach.’
A midfielder for Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers during a 15-year top level playing career, Venables won two caps for England.
Moving into coaching, he guided Crystal Palace from the third division to the first in the late 1970s, before taking QPR to the 1982 FA Cup final as a second-tier outfit.
Venables coached England between 1994 and 1996, before being replaced by Glenn Hoddle
‘El Tel’ attracted the attention of prominent European clubs and took over at Barcelona in 1984, where he won the LaLiga title in 1985 and reached the 1986 European Cup final.
Venables won the FA Cup with Tottenham in 1991, but he’s best remembered for his England’s exploits.
The former Three Lions manager is survived by his wife of 32 years Yvette. A statement from the Venables family read: ‘We are totally devastated by the loss of a wonderful husband and father who passed away peacefully yesterday [Saturday] 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 were were so lucky to have had in our lives.’