Terry Venables has been hailed as one of England’s greatest managers following his death at the age of 80.
Stars from across the world of football paid tributes after his family announced he had “passed away peacefully after a long illness” on Saturday.
They included many stars of his Euro ’96 squad, who narrowly missed out on a place in the final of the tournament after being knocked out by Germany in a semi-final penalty shootout at Wembley.
Former goalkeeper David Seaman wrote in an emotional social media post: “Dear Terry, you’ll be sadly missed, you told me I was your England Number one and I’ll never ever forget that.
“You were by far the best England manager and the nation will always remember the way you managed us at Euro ’96 – great man, great loss.”
His old teammate and former striker Alan Shearer wrote: “Extremely sad news the great Terry Venables has passed away. RIP Boss. I owe you so much. You were amazing.”
Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne, who played under the coach for England and Tottenham, wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “Such a sad day, cheers boss xxxx”.
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Current England manager Gareth Southgate, who was comforted by Venables after he missed the crucial semi-final penalty in Euro ’96, said he had been “an outstanding coach and manager”.
He added: “Tactically excellent, he had a wonderful manner, capable of handling everyone from the youngest player to the biggest star.
“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”.
Former England player and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville said Venables was “my number one England coach in my whole career”.
He also described him as “without doubt the most technically gifted British coach we’ve ever produced,” – while also praising his “unbelievable personality and character, larger than life”.
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Fellow pundit Gary Lineker, who Venables signed to Barcelona in 1986 before bringing him to Tottenham in 1989, said he was “devastated” by the news of his death.
The ex-England star added: “[Venables was] The best, most innovative coach that I had the privilege and pleasure of playing for.
“He was much more, though, than just a great manager, he was vibrant, he was charming, he was witty, he was a friend. He’ll be hugely missed.”
David Beckham posted a tribute on Instagram alongside a picture of himself with Venables when he was aged just nine.
He described him as “one of our greatest England managers and loved by players and fans”.
Venables’s former clubs – from QPR to Barcelona – also issued their own tributes, as did many clubs with no affiliation with him at all.
Former Sky Sports pundit Chris Kamara described him as a “great bloke”, while celebrities from outside the world of sport – including David Baddiel, the co-writer of Euro ’96 anthem Three Lions – also praised Venables and thanked him for his contribution to British sporting life.
The Football Association hailed Venables for his “inspirational” legacy and charisma – while summing him up simply as “a true football icon”.