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Terry Venables

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Title: Terry Venables  
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Subject: 1993–94 in English football, 1965–66 Chelsea F.C. season, 1964–65 Chelsea F.C. season, 1995–96 in English football, England national football team manager
Collection: 1943 Births, 1997 Fifa Confederations Cup Managers, Australia National Soccer Team Managers, Chelsea F.C. Players, Crystal Palace F.C. Managers, Crystal Palace F.C. Players, England Amateur International Footballers, England International Footballers, England National Football Team Managers, England Under-23 International Footballers, England Youth International Footballers, English Chief Executives, English Expatriate Football Managers, English Football Chairmen and Investors, English Football Hall of Fame Inductees, English Football Managers, English Footballers, Expatriate Football Managers in Spain, Expatriate Soccer Managers in Australia, Fc Barcelona Managers, La Liga Managers, League of Ireland Players, Leeds United F.C. Managers, Living People, Middlesbrough F.C. Managers, People from Dagenham, Premier League Managers, Queens Park Rangers F.C. Managers, Queens Park Rangers F.C. Players, St Patrick's Athletic F.C. Players, The Football League Players, The Football League Representative Players, Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Managers, Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Players, Uefa Euro 1996 Managers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Terry Venables

Terry Venables
Personal information
Full name Terence Frederick Venables
Date of birth (1943-01-06) 6 January 1943
Place of birth Dagenham, London, England
Playing position Midfielder (retired)
Club information
Current team
Wembley (technical advisor)
Youth career
1958–1960 Chelsea
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1960–1966 Chelsea 202 (26)
1966–1969 Tottenham Hotspur 115 (19)
1969–1974 Queens Park Rangers 179 (19)
1974–1976 Crystal Palace 14 (0)
1976 St Patrick's Athletic 2 (0)
Total 512 (64)
National team
1964 England 2 (0)
Teams managed
1976–1980 Crystal Palace
1980–1984 Queens Park Rangers
1984–1987 Barcelona
1987–1993 Tottenham Hotspur
1994–1996 England
1996–1997 Australia
1998–1999 Crystal Palace
2000–2001 Middlesbrough (joint role with Bryan Robson)
2002–2003 Leeds United
2012– Wembley (technical advisor)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Terence Frederick "Terry" Venables (born 6 January 1943 in Dagenham), often referred to as "El Tel",[1] is an English former football player and manager. During the 1960s and 70s, he played for various clubs including Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers, and gained two caps for England.

He was the national team manager of England from 1994 to 1996 (leading the team to the semi-finals of the 1996 European Championships), and of Australia from 1997 to 1998. He has also managed several club sides including Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds United in England, and Barcelona in Spain.


  • Early life 1
  • Club career 2
  • International career 3
  • Managerial career 4
    • Crystal Palace (1976–1980) 4.1
    • Queen's Park Rangers (1980–1984) 4.2
    • Barcelona (1984–1987) 4.3
    • Tottenham Hotspur (1987–1993) 4.4
    • England (1994–1996) 4.5
    • Australia (1996–1997) 4.6
    • Portsmouth; chairman (1997–1998) 4.7
    • Return to Crystal Palace (1998–1999) 4.8
    • Middlesbrough (2000–2001) 4.9
    • Leeds United (2002–2003) 4.10
    • England Assistant Manager (2006–2007) 4.11
    • 2007–2012 4.12
  • Honours 5
    • Player 5.1
    • Manager 5.2
  • Other interests 6
    • Discography 6.1
  • Bibliography 7
    • Football 7.1
    • Fiction 7.2
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life

Born in Dagenham in 1943, Venables grew up as an only child in a working-class family. His father served as a Navy petty officer during World War II. When he was 13, his parents moved to run a pub in Romford, Essex, leaving him to stay with his grandparents who fostered his love of football.[2] He attended Lennards Secondary School (now The Ockendon Maths And Computing College) In South Ockendon, Essex.

Club career

Venables left school in the summer of 1957 and signed for Chelsea as an apprentice. He became a professional player after being left out of the Great Britain squad for the 1960 Olympic Games tournament. He emerged as the captain and one of the key players in the Chelsea side which challenged for honours in the 1960s, narrowly missing out on Football League and FA Cup success, and winning the League Cup in 1965, scoring in the final against Leicester City. But a fall-out with manager Tommy Docherty culminated in him and seven other players being sent home for breaking a pre-match curfew and ultimately led to his sale to Tottenham Hotspur for £80,000 in 1966. He had made 202 appearances for Chelsea and scored 26 goals.

He played 115 League games and scored 19 goals for Spurs, with the highlight being an FA Cup Final win over his old side in 1967. In June 1969, he transferred to Queens Park Rangers for £70,000 playing 179 games and scoring 19 goals, eventually in 1974 he transferred to Crystal Palace for the same fee, but only played 14 games for them before being appointed manager in June 1976.[3]

International career

As well as receiving two International Caps, Venables held the distinction of being the first footballer to play for England at all international levels (schoolboy, youth, amateur, Under-23, and for the full international team).[4]

Managerial career

Crystal Palace (1976–1980)

Having been signed as a player in 1974, appearing in only 14 games for Palace during the next two years provided Venables the opportunity to carve-out out an increasingly important coaching role under Malcolm Allison. When Palace missed promotion from the Third Division for the second successive year in the 1975–76 season, Malcolm Allison departed, and Venables was appointed manager in his place.

His first season as manager of Crystal Palace (1976–1977) was a success. Promotion was achieved in extraordinary fashion on Wednesday 11 May 1977 in a dramatic away win at promotion rivals Wrexham in Palace's last game of the season. Palace wanted to win by two clear goals. With one minute remaining in the game, the score was 2–2, but Rachid Harkouk scored in the last minute and Jeff Bourne scored in injury time for Palace to win 4–2. As a consequence, Wrexham had to win their last game of the season the following Saturday, and failed. Looking back on the match 30 years later, Venables said: "It's the most memorable game for me out of all the clubs and memories I have. It was just eerie, amazing, just like it was meant to be. It was quite amazing."

Palace's promotion-winning team had been built with typically astute key strategic signings and the youth players who had been coached by Venables. His successful youth policy continued through 1978, and in the 1978–79 season developed to full fruition with the Palace team which was labelled by the media as the "Team of the Eighties" due to their young age and a presumption that the team would stay together during the next decade.

Venables' young team were promoted to the top tier of English football on 11 May 1979 in the last game of the season against Burnley before a club-record crowd of 51,801. Palace, requiring a draw for promotion, won 2–0 and consequently became Second Division Champions.

Venables' first season as a manager in the top flight, in the 1979–80 season, started successfully, and on 29 September 1979, Crystal Palace were top of the English Football League for one week. This remains (as of 2015) the only time Palace have led the top division. Venables' team ended the 1979–80 season in 13th place, which was Palace's highest position in their history up to that date. They have since bettered that with finishes of 3rd place in 1990-91, their best ever position, and 10th in 2014-15.

The following season started badly for Venables; expensive high-profile signings failed to gel, and by October 1980, Palace were bottom of the First Division, and in financial difficulties. Venables left during October to join Second Division Queens Park Rangers; the exact details behind this sudden departure are not clear.

Queen's Park Rangers (1980–1984)

Venables left Palace, in the top division, for Queens Park Rangers, who were in the Second Division. His departure from Selhurst Park coincided with a decline in form for Palace, who were relegated at the end of the season and did not regain their top flight status for another eight years.

He took QPR back into the First Division as Second Division champions in 1983. He also guided Rangers to the FA Cup final in 1982 whilst still a Second Division side, but lost in a replay against his former club Tottenham.

His final season as QPR manager, 1983–84, brought more success as they finished fifth in the league (their highest finish since they were runners-up in 1976) and qualified for the UEFA Cup. Venables then moved to Spain to take over at Barcelona, while Alan Mullery took over from him at Loftus Road in an ill-fated arrangement that lasted just six months.

Barcelona (1984–1987)

Venables gained a good reputation as a manager with his successes at Crystal Palace and QPR, and this attracted offers from some of Europe's most prestigious clubs. In 1984, Venables took the role of manager at Barcelona, earning the sobriquet "El Tel". He was recommended by Bobby Robson, a good friend of the Barcelona President and who himself, years later, would take over the team. Venables used a very English system, a classic 4–4–2, which took advantage of outstanding defenders like Gerardo, Migueli and Julio Alberto and a hard-working midfield led by German Bernd Schuster. During his three seasons in Catalonia, Venables led the club to the Spanish league title in 1985 (their first since 1974), and the Copa de la Liga in 1986.

Barcelona also reached the Camp Nou in a penalty shootout after a 3–3 aggregate score.[5]

Venables brought two British strikers to Barcelona in 1986 – Gary Lineker from Everton and Mark Hughes (Sparky) from Manchester United. Lineker was a great success at the Camp Nou, scoring 21 goals during his first season, including a hat-trick in a 3–2 win over Real Madrid.[6] Lineker spent three years at Barcelona, until Venables brought him back to England with his new club Tottenham Hotspur in 1989. Hughes, however, was less successful and spent just one season in the Barcelona side, before being loaned to Bayern Munich.

Venables was dismissed by Barcelona in September 1987, after failing to repeat his title success at the Camp Nou and losing home and away to eventual finalists Dundee United in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup six months earlier.[7]

Tottenham Hotspur (1987–1993)

On 23 November 1987, he returned to England to manage Tottenham Hotspur. His success with the Spurs team was varied, with the side finishing in mid-table for most of his tenure, though they did win the FA Cup in 1991 and finished third in the league in 1990. Venables had brought both Gary Lineker and Paul Gascoigne to Spurs and was a favourite to replace Bobby Robson as England national football team manager when the job became vacant in 1990, but doubts about his probity led him to be passed over in favour of Graham Taylor.[8] Venables did not even make it onto the shortlist of three managers selected by The Football Association.

After a failed £20m bid to take over Spurs with Larry Gillick, Venables was appointed chief executive by Alan Sugar, who had won the takeover battle against Robert Maxwell in June 1991.[3] Over the next two seasons, the Spurs team was managed by Peter Shreeves and then the joint management team of Ray Clemence and Doug Livermore, with the final arrangement seeing Venables having more involvement with the first team. A clash of personalities developed and Sugar dismissed Venables on 14 May 1993, over his business dealings. After gaining a temporary injunction, he was reinstated, but lost a 3-day high court hearing and ordered to pay costs.[3]

England (1994–1996)

By November 1993, the England national football team was at a low point, having failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup under previous manager Graham Taylor. Venables, though not at that time active in the game, seemed to have the presence and charisma that could re-ignite some patriotic pride and achievement. He was appointed manager on 28 January 1994.

However, the speculation coincided with Venables coming under scrutiny and censure in connection with several of his business dealings. The Football Association struggled to identify an alternative candidate but their discomfort with his soiled reputation for probity was articulated in their appointment of him as England 'coach' rather than under the traditional title of 'manager'. However, Venables decided in January 1996 that he was going to leave the England job after the European Championships that summer, as he wanted to concentrate on clearing his name in connection with off-the-field business dealings.

As hosts, England did not need to qualify for Euro 96. There were plenty of highs and lows during the finals, where England won three of their five games (including one on penalties). The highest point came with the 4–1 defeat of the Netherlands in the final group game. England under Venables suffered penalty shoot-out heartache again in the semi-finals, losing to Germany as they had done in the 1990 World Cup semi-final. During his 23 match tenure as England manager, the team only lost once.

Alan Shearer has spoken highly of Venables' tenure as England manager, stating: "The best England team I played in was the one under Terry Venables before Euro 96. Terry's knowledge and tactical know-how were spot-on and he knew how to get the best out of us too. We responded to him, believed in him and played some outstanding football in that tournament."[9]

Australia (1996–1997)

Venables became manager of Australia in November 1996, following the resignation of Eddie Thomson. In the 1997 Confederations Cup, Venables led Australia to the final before defeat to Brazil. His side swept through the Oceania World Cup qualifiers, but were beaten in a play-off by Iran on away goals, a match often referred to as the most tragic moment in Australian football history. With the team having drawn 1–1 in Tehran, Australia led the second leg 2–0 at half time, but the partisan crowd were left stunned when they conceded two late goals to miss out on qualification for the 1998 World Cup on away goals. Venables decided to quit the Socceroos as the National Governing Body had bank-rolled the Federation in the hope of reaching their first World Cup since 1974.

Portsmouth; chairman (1997–1998)

Venables combined his duties with Australia for a period as consultant and then chairman at Portsmouth. He purchased a 51% controlling interest in the club for £1 in February 1997, but left in controversial circumstances 11 months later. His company Vencorp received a £300,000 bonus in the summer of 1997 and he is thought to have been paid around £250,000 upon leaving the club, but he left them bottom of Division One.[10]

Although Portsmouth avoided relegation 1997–98, their financial situation worsened and they were in real danger of bankruptcy, until being taken over by Milan Mandarić in late 1999.

Return to Crystal Palace (1998–1999)

In March 1998, he returned to Crystal Palace who had just been taken over by Mark Goldberg. Venables left acrimoniously in January 1999, as the south-London club went into administration. His appointment had created a media frenzy, with Goldberg boasting that he was going to turn Palace into a European force within the next five years. But the dream was over within a year, and Palace narrowly avoided going out of business, although they did at least finish in a secure position in Division One.

Middlesbrough (2000–2001)

Despite being linked with vacant managerial positions with Wales and Chelsea, Venables remained out of football for nearly two years until December 2000, when he was appointed Head Coach to assist and co-manage Middlesbrough with the incumbent manager Bryan Robson in a bid to help the club avoid relegation. The club eventually finished 14th and survived. However, Venables felt Teesside was too remote a base for his media and business interests and he left at the same time as Robson in June 2001.

Leeds United (2002–2003)

In July 2002, Venables joined Leeds United as manager. Although the extent of Leeds' disastrous financial problems were only beginning to become clear with club captain Rio Ferdinand sold to Manchester United only a fortnight into Venables appointment, he still inherited a stronger squad than the one that had qualified for the UEFA Champions League two years earlier (effectively, since Ferdinand was bought after qualification.) Despite this, by December of that year the side had crashed out of both the League Cup and the UEFA Cup and were languishing in the bottom half of the table.

Leeds were further weakened in January 2003, when Jonathan Woodgate was sold to Newcastle United without Venables being informed, in an attempt to pay off mounting debts. Venables threatened to leave if Woodgate was sold, but was persuaded to stay by Peter Ridsdale.[11] With the club spiralling towards relegation, and amid later substantiated rumours of further player sales by the board Venables was sacked in March 2003.[12] Leeds later escaped relegation under Peter Reid, securing safety with a remarkable 3–2 win away to reigning Premier League champions Arsenal.

England Assistant Manager (2006–2007)

Venables was linked with Australian club Newcastle United Jets in 2005, but his commitments in the UK prevented him from taking up a role within the club, and his agent announced that he did not sign any deal with the club. At the end of the 2005–06 season, he was linked with a return to Middlesbrough,[13] but decided that at his age he would be unable to manage a Premier League club full-time. Later in the year, Venables returned to the England set-up as assistant to new manager Steve McClaren. He was later sacked from this role in November 2007, along with McClaren, after England failed to qualify for Euro 2008.[14]


Since 2007, Venables has been linked in the media with many managerial vacancies, including those at the Republic of Ireland,[15] Bulgaria,[16] Queen's Park Rangers,[17] Hull City,[18] and Wales.[19] In 2012 he was hired by non-League club Wembley as a technical adviser.[20]



Tottenham Hotspur


Crystal Palace
Queen's Park Rangers
Tottenham Hotspur

Other interests

Venables is also well known for his business interests, most notably with English clubs Queen's Park Rangers (as managing director), Tottenham Hotspur (as Chief Executive) and Portsmouth (as chairman). However, on 14 January 1998 he was disqualified by the high court from acting as a company director for seven years under section 8 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 for mismanagement of four companies – the London drinking club Scribes West Ltd, Edenote plc, Tottenham Hotspur plc and Tottenham Hotspur Football and Athletic Company Ltd.[21] The case was brought by the Department of Trade and Industry who cited instances of bribery, lying, deception, manipulation of accounts and taking money that should have been given to creditors.[22]

In addition to his widespread business interests, Venables also co-authored four novels with writer Gordon Williams and is credited as co-creator of the ITV detective series Hazell. Having been a football pundit for BBC since the mid-80s, he left for ITV in 1994, following a legal dispute with the corporation over allegations made against him in a Panorama programme. In 1990, Venables co-devised the board game, "Terry Venables invites you to be... The Manager". This is a football management game and is a cross between the Game of Life, Risk and Trivial Pursuit.

In 1995, a photograph of Venables from his playing days appeared on the cover of Morrissey's single "Dagenham Dave." In 1996, Venables appeared on a television advert for Yellow Pages, along with his predecessors as England coach, Bobby Robson and Graham Taylor, who were seen ordering a cake from a bakery found via the business directory to send as a good luck gift to Venables prior to Euro 96.

In 2002, Venables recorded a single for the World Cup together with the band Rider. "England Crazy" reached number 46 in the UK charts. In May 2006, Venables guided the England Legends and Celebrities squad to victory in the charity Soccer Aid programme.[23]

In 2010, Venables recorded a cover of the Elvis Presley song "If I Can Dream" in association with British newspaper The Sun. It featured a 60-piece Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Harry Redknapp and Ian Wright filmed at Wembley Stadium.[24] The song reached number 23 in the UK charts on 13 June.[25]

In 2014, together with his wife, Venables opened a boutique hotel and restaurant in Penàguila, in the Alicante region of Spain.[26]


Year Song
1974 "What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?"
2002 "England Crazy"
(Rider and Terry Venables)
2010 "If I Can Dream" 23



  • Venables, T & Hanson, N (1995) Venables: The Autobiography ISBN 0-14-024077-2
  • Venables, T (1996) Venables' England: The Making of the TeamISBN 0-7522-1664-3
  • (1997) The Best Game in the World ISBN 0-09-918562-8


(all co-written with Gordon Williams)

  • (1973) They Used to Play on Grass ISBN 0-583-12077-6
  • As "P.B. Yuill" (1974) The Bornless Keeper
  • As "P.B. Yuill" (1974) Hazell Plays Solomon ISBN 0-14-024416-6
  • As "P.B. Yuill" (1975) Hazell and the Three Card Trick ISBN 0-14-024419-0
  • As "P.B. Yuill" (1976) Hazell and the Menacing Jester ISBN 0-14-024418-2


  1. ^ "From QPR to Barcelona: When Terry Venables became El Tel" by Tom Rostance, BBC News, 6 August 2014
  2. ^ Angela Wintle, Terry Venables: My family values, The Guardian, 27 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Terry Venables factfile".  
  4. ^ "Ask Albert – Number 5".  
  5. ^ Rice, Simon (23 April 2010). "The ten best European Cup semi-finals: Barcelona 3 Gothenburg 3, European Cup, 1986". The Independent (London). Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Jacques, Arab (3 March 2007). "Barcelona Plan Scottish Pre-Season?". Vital Football. Retrieved 2 July 2009. 
  8. ^ Graham Taylor England Football Online
  9. ^ "Alan Shearer gives his damning verdict on England's World Cup flops". London: The Sun. 29 June 2010. 
  10. ^ "Venables quits Portsmouth taking a tidy profit". BBC Sport. 13 January 1998. Retrieved 2 July 2009. 
  11. ^ "Venables' Leeds career".  
  12. ^ "Venables leaves Leeds".  
  13. ^ Caulkin, George (17 May 2006). "Venables in line for 'one last big job' on Teesside". London: Times Online. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "McClaren sacked as England coach". BBC Sport. 22 November 2007. 
  15. ^ "Souness interested in Ireland job".  
  16. ^ Venables on Bulgarian shortlist 15 December 2007
  17. ^ "QPR 'consider return of former England boss Venables' as pressure mounts on Dowie".  
  18. ^ Terry Venables emerges as leading contender to replace Phil Brown at Hull Telegraph, 16 March 2010
  19. ^ FAW yet to advertise national manager's job Tuesday, 28 September
  20. ^ Ex-England boss Terry Venables joins non-league Wembley
  21. ^ "Seven-year director's ban for Venables".  
  22. ^ "Venables fans' choice despite flaws".  
  23. ^ "England stars in Soccer Aid win".  
  24. ^ Phillips, Martin (19 April 2010). "The Greatest Telly Ad Ever!". London: The Sun. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  25. ^ Dizzee Rascal and James Corden score World Cup hit BBC News, 13 June 2010
  26. ^ [2] Boutique Hotelier, 08 October 2014
  27. ^ "Chart Stats – Terry Venables". Retrieved 2013-02-13. 

External links

  • Terry Venables career statistics at Soccerbase
  • Terry Venables management career statistics at Soccerbase
  • Leeds United Managers – Terry Venables (2002–03) Leeds United Web Ring
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