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OBITUARY

Former Super Eagles coaching target and England manager Venables dies aged 80

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Terry Venables, who was an initial Nigeria target to take over Clemens Westerhof  in the days leading to Nigeria’s debut at the World Cup in 1994, has died.

The Chairman of the National Sports Commission at the time had proposed Venables to take over Westerhof’s job following a fall out with the Dutch.

Venables had previously managed England’s national soccer team and Tottenham Hotspur.

He died aged 80 after an illness, his family said on Sunday.

Venables guided England to the semi-finals of the 1996 European Championship on home soil before losing to Germany on penalties.

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

In addition to his spell in charge of Tottenham, during which he won the FA Cup in the 1990-91 season, he also took charge of Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Barcelona in a glittering managerial career.

During his time at Barcelona, Venables earned the nickname El Tel, winning LaLiga and reaching the European Cup final in 1986. Venables was also responsible for bringing British strikers Gary Lineker and Mark Hughes to the Nou Camp.

“The best, most innovative coach that I had the privilege and pleasure of playing for,” Lineker, who also played under Venables at Spurs and England, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“He was much more, though, than just a great manager, he was vibrant, he was charming, he was witty, he was a friend.”

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Venables started his professional career as a player with Chelsea in 1960 and played for Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace before retiring to take over the manager’s role there.

 

As a player, he made over 500 league appearances and won the League Cup with Chelsea in 1965 and the FA Cup with Spurs in 1967. He made two international appearances for England.

Venables also had a two-year stint as chief executive of Spurs from 1991-93.

“We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Terry Venables, our former player, manager and chief executive, who passed away on Saturday,” Spurs said in a statement.

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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.”

“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,” Southgate said.

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

Venables also brought the mercurial Paul Gascoigne to Tottenham from Newcastle in 1988, helping him become one of the most sought-after midfielders in the world.

“Such a sad day, cheers boss,” Gascoigne said.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

OBITUARY

Nigeria’s Sports Minister Condoles With Sports Sector, Family of Ekene Adams

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Nigeria's Sports Minister, John Owan Enoh signs the condolence register

Tributes have started pouring in over the death of Ekene Adams, the chairman of the Sports Committee of the Federal House of Representatives.

Adams passed on in the early hours of this Tuesday. The sports minister, John Owan Enoh remarked that the  the late legislator had deep passion for sports, which is exemplary.

The minister extended his deepest condolences to his family. Enoh expressed his sadness, stating, “Honourable Ekene was deeply passionate about sports and played a significant role in the growth and development of sports in Nigeria.

“I offer my heartfelt condolences to Honourable Ekene’s family. He was a sportsman par excellence who not only played the game but also administered and invested in it. We will miss his wealth of experience and the passion he brought to sports.”

Reflecting on their recent interactions, Senator Enoh added, “We were discussing Nigeria’s preparations for the Olympic Games, and he consistently demonstrated his patriotism and leadership.”

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“Honourable Ekene was a kind and gentle humanitarian, loved by all who knew him. His dedication to the development of grassroots sports in Nigeria was solid, and his contributions to the house will be deeply missed.”

Honourable Ekene Adams passed away after a period of illness. Until his passing, he served as the chairman of the House Committee on Sports.

He also held positions as the CEO of Kada City Football Club and general manager of Remo Stars at different times before winning the House of Representatives seat in the 2023 general election.

The Minister of Sports , permanent secretary, Mrs Tinuke Watti , President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr Habu Gumel ,the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives amongst others were present to condole with the family.

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OBITUARY

CAF mourns South Africa’s first national team coach, Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala

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Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala.

The Confédération of African Football, (CAF) President Dr Patrice Motsepe is saddened by the news of the passing of former coach of the South African National Team, Mamelodi Sundowns and a Senior Official at Orlando Pirates FC, Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala.

Tshabalala was the first coach of the South African Senior Team, Bafana Bafana after re-admission in 1992.

In his career, he played for Orlando Pirates FC and was a Technical Director at Kaizer Chiefs FC.

President Motsepe said: “Mr “Screamer” Tshabalala’s contribution to the development and growth of South African football is enormous and recognized by all who have been involved and associated with football in our country over many years.

“He is recognised as the Father of the “shoe shine and piano” style which he initiated whilst being Head Coach of Mamelodi Sundowns. Mr “Screamer” Tshabalala represented the very best of South African football and African football and will always have a special place in our hearts.”

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CAF President Dr Motsepe conveys heartfelt condolences to the family of Stanley Tshabalala, Orlando Pirates Chairman Dr Khoza and the South African Football Association (“SAFA”), as well as the entire South African Football Football Family.

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OBITUARY

Ekene Adams, former Remo Stars GM & House of Reps Sports Committee Chairman is dead

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Hon.Ekene Adams

A pall of darkness has fallen on the Nigeria’s sports sector as a sports administrator, Ekene Adams, has passed on in the early hours of this Tuesday. He was aged 39.

 He was the Chairman of the House of Representatives  Committee on Sports. Prior to that, he was the General Manager of the Nigerian Premier League side, Remo Stars before going into politics and winning a seat in the Federal  House of Representatives  representing Chikun/Kajuru Federal Constituency, Kaduna State,.

 He reportedly died in the early hours of Tuesday although the cause of his death has not been ascertained at the time of filing this report.

A former football player, Adams served as the general manager of  Remo Stars as well as Kada City before he won a seat in the House of Representatives during the 2023 general elections. His sport background earned him the role of the reps committee chairman on sports despite being a first timer in the green chamber.

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