Terry Venables has died at the age of 80 years after a long illness.
Ahead of Nigeria’s participation at the USA 94’ World Cup, Venables was contacted and was almost hired by the then National Sports Commission Chairman, Late Sylvanus Akinwunmi.
Venables was expected to take over from Dutchman, Clemens Westerhof, whom sports officials at that time saw as too powerful to control due to his closeness to former military Vice President, Late Admiral Augustus Aikhomu.
His name surfaced again in 1997 when the then Minister of Sports, Chief Jim Nwobodo, opted for the sack of Super Eagles’ handler, Frenchman Philippe Troussier before the World Cup in France in 1998. Instead, it was Serbian Bora Milutinovic who got the job.
England who failed to qualify for the 1994 Mundial hired him to manage the Three Lions from 1994 to 1996 and notably led them to the semi-finals of Euro ‘96 on home soil.
A former England player, he also managed Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur.
“We are totally devastated by the loss of a wonderful husband and father who passed away peacefully yesterday after a long illness,” read a family statement.
“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.”
Venables won La Liga, reached the European Cup final with Barcelona, and lifted the FA Cup with Tottenham.
As a player, he won two England caps and made more than 500 club appearances between 1960 and 1975, largely for Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers and Tottenham.