Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Don Howe 1935 - 2015

Former Arsenal and West Brom manager and long-serving England coach Don Howe has died at the age of 80.

Howe played for and managed both Arsenal and West Brom, also winning 23 England caps, and went on to become one of English football's most-respected coaches.

That reputation was built in-part on the Gunners' 1971 League and FA Cup Double success, when he was right-hand man to manager Bertie Mee.

Howe left Highbury to become boss at West Brom, where he had made 379 appearances as a full-back, but later returned as coach before taking the manager's job in 1983.

He was part of the England coaching team during the managerial reigns of Ron Greenwood, Bobby Robson and Terry Venables and also helped mastermind Wimbledon's 1988 FA Cup triumph before short spells in charge of QPR and Coventry.

Howe was Arsenal manager when Paul Merson joined as a youngster, and the Sky Sports pundit said: "He was so far ahead of his time it was scary.

"He was probably the best coach in the world of football, not just England. He was a phenomenal, phenomenal coach."

Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick said: "Don possessed a marvellous ability to get the very best out of players with his coaching techniques and provide them with the perfect preparation for matches. He was the very best at what he did - and he did it with us, at Arsenal, for decade after decade.

"He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him and his name will live on in the history books as one of the most influential footballing figures in the history of the club."

FA Chairman Greg Dyke said: "It is terribly sad news and our thoughts are with Don's family at this time.

"He is widely regarded as being in the vanguard of coaching in England, and I know that his loss will be keenly felt amongst the coaching fraternity in particular and not least by Roy Hodgson, who was close to Don."


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