LONDON: Terry Venables, who has died at 80, was the manager who led England memorably to the semi-finals of Euro 96. But he was so much more. He was an international midfielder, a businessman, an author of detective novels and a high-profile personality.

Venables, from East London, was one of Chelsea’s bright new generation in the early 1960s. He played in midfield for England at every level: schoolboy, amateur, youth, under-23 and twice at senior level. He and later starred for Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace.

He made over 500 league appearances and won the League Cup with Chelsea in 1965 and the FA Cup with Spurs in 1967.

Venables developed innovative skills as a manager at Palace and QPR before being surprisingly appointed by Barcelona in 1984. ‘El Tel’ led Barcelona to the LaLiga title in his first season but a year later they lost the European Cup final on penalties to Steaua Bucharest.

He then returned to England to win the FA Cup with Tottenham – where he would later fall out, notoriously, with owner Sir Alan Sugar – before taking over England.

A family statement said: “We are totally devastated by the loss of a wonderful husband and father who passed away peacefully yesterday after a long illness. 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.”

Richard Bevan added a tribute on behalf of the League Managers Association of which he is ceo, saying: “The LMA is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of LMA member and former LMA president Terry Venables. Our thoughts are very much with Yvette and all of Terry’s family at this time.”

Gary Lineker described Venables as “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.”

Current England manager Gareth Southgate, part of the Euro 1996 side and who missed a penalty in the shootout defeat by Germany, said Venables “made people feel special.”

Southgate added: “Any player will have great affinity with the manager that gave them their opportunity, but it was quickly evident playing for Terry Venables that he was an outstanding coach and manager.

“Tactically excellent, he had a wonderful manner, capable of handling everyone from the youngest player to the biggest star.”