Most performers would give their right arm to perform at London’s O2 Arena, but not Terry Venables.
As one of England’s most personable former managers, El Tel decided to go one better and sing on the roof instead appearing alongside London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in The Sun’s World Cup TV ad.
This remarkable feat of ingenuity is not entirely out of character for one of football’s more colourful characters. You could imagine Venables saying, ‘Pass us a pen love, I wanna write history’.
Terence Frederick Venables was a notable footballer for Chelsea, Spurs and QPR in a career spanning 16 years.
He took his first tentative steps into management with Crystal Palace in 1976 before moving onto QPR four years later – whom he took into the top flight. Barcelona came knocking in 1984 where he earned the sobriquet ‘El Tel’ whilst guiding them to three Spanish titles and a European Cup Final. The pressure to succeed was intense at Nou Camp though and he was harshly dismissed in 1987 after failing to secure a fourth title.
He wasted no time however, and jumped straight back into the saddle with Spurs where he would stay for the next six years. The team finished mid-table for most of his tenure but with Lineker and Gascoigne in the side, Tottenham grew a reputation for playing attractive attacking football.
His high-point at White Hart Lane came in 1991 following the club’s FA Cup triumph.
After a year in the wilderness, Terry took over the national squad at one of their lowest points after failure to qualify for the World Cup in the USA. He reinvigorated the side as we came so close to winning Euro 96 on home soil but for the German’s ruthless efficiency at taking penalties.
He has dabbled with management since that fateful night at Wembley, notably as Head Coach of Australia and a brief return to the England setup in 2006, but, he will always be best remembered for going within an ace of delivering the nation’s first piece of silverware since 1966.
There will only ever be one, ‘El Tel’.
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