Former Arsenal, Tottenham and Northern Ireland manager Terry Neill has died

Former Arsenal manager Terry Neill

Former Arsenal, Tottenham and Northern Ireland manager Terry Neill has died aged 80.

Neill became the youngest player to manage the Gunners in 1962 during an 11-year playing career there and went on to manage them between 1976 and 1983, leading Arsenal to 1979 FA Cup glory amid of a race with three successive finals.

He returned to Highbury as manager after a two-year stint on the Seven Sisters High Road at Tottenham where he replaced the great Bill Nicholson.

Arsenal said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that the club has learned of the passing of former manager and captain, Terry Neill, aged 80.

“Terry has been associated with the club for over 20 years, first as a player joining us aged 17 from Bangor City in his native Northern Ireland in December 1959.

“The midfielder’s combination of tenacity, vision and natural leadership soon forced him to face the first team, making his debut against Sheffield on Wednesday December 23, 1960. Just two years later, aged 20 , he was named Arsenal’s youngest ever captain by new boss Billy Wright.

Soccer - FA Cup Final - Manchester United v Arsenal - Wembley Stadium
Terry Neill led the Gunners to three successive FA Cup finals in 1978, 1979 and 1980 (PA Archive/PA)

“Terry Neill’s status as captain and manager of the club made him a major influence on Arsenal in the 20th century. His fantastic contribution – and indeed his character – will always be appreciated by all associated with the club.

“Our hearts go out to Terry’s family and close friends at this difficult time.”

Neill, who won 59 caps for Northern Ireland and also played and managed Hull, also took charge of his country on a part-time basis between 1971 and 1975.

He is survived by his wife Sandra, two daughters and four grandchildren.