In Memory of Terry Venables

We knew that Terry had been unwell for some time, but his passing at the age of 80 last month still came as a great shock!

Terry was born in Dagenham on 6th January 1943.

In 1958 at the age of 15, he signed for Chelsea before moving to Tottenham Hotspur in 1966.

Terry was transferred to QPR in June 1969 for a reported fee of £70,000.

When his move to Loftus Road was questioned, Terry was quoted as saying: “Some people told me I was daft to go into the Second Division, but I was happy about the move to Rangers right from the start.”

Eric Nicholls wrote the following article (edited), for ‘Goal’ magazine, which appeared in January 1973:

‘As Queen’s Park Rangers stride out on the last lap of their bid to rejoin the Football League’s elite, skipper Terry Venables wonders whether he will be around to see his young team-mates blossom into a super side.

Terry will be 30 this month and knows all about the pressure of the over-thirties in the First Division. He spent around nine years in the top grade, first with Chelsea and then with Tottenham, before his £70,000 transfer to Rangers in the summer of 1969.

But if qualities of leadership have anything to do with it, Terry will be around the game for a long time. 

As Rangers’ manager, Gordon Jago, says of him: “Terry still has a future as a player, but it is possible he has an even bigger future in the game as a coach or a manager.”

“He is a student of the game with a very absorbing mind. He is quick to see things and in our training sessions many things that he has suggested, many ideas he has put up, have been adopted by the club.”

“Terry has this kind of relationship with us, and I believe it is important. After all, as soon as the players cross that white line, he is the man we look to as our spokesman on the field.”

“That’s when he becomes the boss and it is important that he understands and appreciates our ideas so that he can interpret them on the park. That’s why we involve him in discussions about the team and the club.”

Jago and Bobby Campbell, his chief coach, regard Venables as a tremendously vital part in the running of Queen’s Park Rangers, and it has shown through in the last year in the “young godfather” approach Terry has had towards the job.

He has been variously described as the general of the side and the brains, while other, younger players supply the legs.

Terry doesn’t mind either description because responsibility is something he has thrived on ever since he laced his first pair of boots at Stamford Bridge.

Now he has become a leading member of the Professional Footballers’ Association committee and – some say – a distinct possibility as the association’s next chairman. 

For the moment, his biggest ambition is to sample First Division football again, and, in this respect, Terry is having a tremendous influence on the younger players at Shepherd’s Bush. 

As Jago says: “Terry thinks nothing of helping the apprentices when his own training is over. And the players appreciate the part Terry is playing here.”

After making over 200 appearances and scoring 22 goals, Terry moved on to Crystal Palace in September 1974.

He returned to Loftus Road as manager in October 1980. Rangers’ first FA Cup final appearance came in May 1982 and the following season the R’s were promoted to the top division.

Terry took charge of Barcelona in May 1984, and he later took the reins at Tottenham Hotspur before eventually being appointed as the England manager in January 1994.

For the Stoke home game last month, and prior to kick-off, Marti Cifuentes walked out to lay some flowers on the centre-circle. A minute’s applause then followed.

The last time I saw him was in 2015. Following some research at Hammersmith Library with Colin Woodley and Bernard Lambert, we took the short walk to ‘The Queen’s Head’ and who should be leaving as we headed to the bar, but Terry. 

Terence Frederick Venables: 6th January 1943 – 25th November 2023

Rest in Peace Terry…and thanks.

Steve Russell

One thought on “In Memory of Terry Venables

  1. What a Star for us in our post war history both as a player and Manager.

    There was a woman who was in my same department at a London Insurance Brokers 1965 to 1974 who was his Cousin. Sometimes I used to get interesting info.

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