Arsenal have confirmed that former player and manager, Don Howe, has passed away after a long battle with illness.
Howe joined Arsenal from West Brom in 1964 and went on to play 74 times for the Gunners and 23 times for England. On his retirement in 1967, brought about by a broken leg, he took on a first team coaching role and helped plot the 1970/71 ‘Double triumph’ alongside manager Bertie Mee [pictured on the left with Howe].
Howe rejoined West Brom as manager in July 1971 but returned to Arsenal as chief coach during Terry Neill’s tenure and managed the Gunners between December 1983 and March 1986.
After various coaching and management posts, he was Arsenal’s Head Youth Coach leading the young Gunners to FA Youth Cup wins in 2000 and 2001. He retired at the end of the 2002/03 season.
A statement from Arsenal chairman, Sir Chips Keswick, reads: “We were aware Don had been enduring a long battle with illness, but it was still a shock to learn the news about someone who was loved by so many people at the club, and who had such a remarkable influence as a player, coach and manager here.
“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.”
The FA also paid tribute to a man who helped coach the England national team during the eighties. 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.
“He was a fine player – named as one of West Bromwich Albion’s finest – and, of course, he went on to play an integral part in Arsenal’s history as a coach and later as manager.
“For his country, he not only appeared in a World Cup, but he was instrumental in both Sir Bobby Robson’s management team for Italia ’90 and Euro ‘96 where he assisted Terry Venables.
“Even in his latter years I understand he continued to pass on his knowledge and advice to aspiring young coaches. It is a great loss for English football, especially following on so soon after the sad passing of Jimmy Hill.”
The thoughts of everyone at Arseblog News are with his family.