FORMER Middlesbrough managers Bryan Robson and Steve McClaren have both paid heartfelt tributes to Terry Venables.

Robson worked alongside Venables with England during Euro 96 before the pair reunited on Teesside, while McClaren, who took charge of Boro following Venables' brief but hugely successful stint at the Riverside, later brought the ex-Barcelona boss back into the England fold as his assistant in 2006.

Tributes continue to be paid to Venables, with the football world mourning the passing of an "innovator and inspiration".

And Venables will always be remembered with great fondness on Teesside. His remarkable impact in the 2000/01 season ensured a Boro side that looked destined for the drop in the troubles early stages of the campaign ended up staying up comfortably - with survival laying the foundations for the glorious League Cup success and European journey that followed.

Robson, who stayed at Boro and worked alongside Venables as joint-manager in 2000/01 before the pair both left at the end of that season, said: “Terry was a brilliant coach to work with and I learned so much from him. He was very good tactically, but also a great motivator and communicator.

“I first worked with him as a player when he was coaching with England Under-21s under Dave Sexton and they were both a great support to me when I broke my leg in my early years at West Brom.

“My international playing career had come to an end by the time he took over as England manager, but he brought me back as a coach and that was a brilliant experience working with him and Don Howe at Euro 96 when we got to the semi-finals.

“Later, when I was Middlesbrough manager, we were going through a tough period and I wanted to bring in a top coach, so I asked Terry and we made a great partnership.

“Everyone who worked with Terry will always remember him as someone who lived life with a smile on his face.”


McClaren benefited from Venables' escape-act at Boro when he left Manchester United to take his first managerial role in 2001 - and after lifting the Carling Cup and leading Boro to the UEFA Cup final, left to take charge of England.

His time in charge of the Three Lions didn't go to plan, but he's grateful for the opportunity to work with Venables, who he appointed as his No.2.

McClaren said: “Terry was a true gentleman and a coach always ahead of his time. Working with him for England was a pleasure and an education, and he helped me enormously to deal with the pressures around the job.

“His wit, smile and positive attitude will be sadly missed. RIP Terry.”