Terry Venables was described by many as the best English coach with Gary Lineker leading tributes to his Barcelona and Tottenham boss, saying that Venables' death - which came after a long illness - had hit him hard.

The former England striker said: "He was not a coach or just a manager, but a friend".

"He was charming, charismatic, witty but he was also tough - and that's what you needed to be," Lineker said. "He understood football - he had an incredible football brain."

Former England boss Venables signed England striker Lineker for both Barcelona and Tottenham. "He was a leader in terms of coaching," Lineker said.

"The kind of football he played - high press, keeping possession - was more difficult because of playing surfaces. I would put him up there in terms of the way he would tactically think about the game."

Current England manager Gareth Southgate was part of that squad, having been given his international debut by Venables the previous year. "He had a wonderful manner, capable of handling everyone from the youngest player to the biggest star," said Southgate.

"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.” Venables was said to be one of football's brightest minds and most innovative coaches both as a player and later in a management career that saw him lead England to the semi-finals at Euro 96.

With his colourful personality and well-chronicled life in business he was seen more than just a football person, even co-authoring novels that led to the successful 1970s television series ‘Hazell’ about a fictional private detective.

Dying after a long illness, he was 80.