Terry Neill: 80-year-old former captain and manager of Northern Ireland and Arsenal passes away

Terry Neill

Terry Neill, a former manager and captain of Northern Ireland and Arsenal, passed away at the age of 80.

Belfast-born Terry Neill played more than 270 games for the club between 1957 and 1970 and was the club’s youngest captain at the age of 20.

When Neill returned to manage Arsenal at the age of 34, the Gunners won three straight FA Cups under his leadership.

The defender earned 59 international caps, including one while serving as player-manager for Northern Ireland.

Before signing on with Arsenal for £2,500 in 1959, Neill, who was born in 1942, played for Bangor’s youth squad.

He made his first-team debut at the age of 18, and soon after that, he set a record by becoming Arsenal’s youngest-ever captain.


When Neill ended his playing career as the player-manager of Hull City, he was 28 years old.

Asked who was first name on his squad sheet while player-manager of Northern Ireland, he famously remarked: “Me! George Best and Pat Jennings followed.”

Neill also took great pride in the fact that, fifty years ago, when Northern Ireland defeated England at Wembley, he scored the game’s lone goal.

After taking over Tottenham, an opponent of Arsenal, and succeeding the legendary double winner Bill Nicholson, he returned to Highbury as the club’s youngest manager in modern history.

Arsenal was once again recognized as one of the premier teams in the nation as a result of the signings of star players like Malcolm MacDonald and Jennings as well as the emergence of outstanding young talent like Liam Brady, Frank Stapleton, and David O’Leary.

Don Howe led Arsenal to those three consecutive FA Cup finals after being hired as their coach at that point, and they won the cup in thrilling fashion when they faced Manchester United in the 1979 championship game.

Days before losing to Valencia in a penalty shootout in the 1980 European Cup Winners’ Cup final, Neill then led the squad to their third Wembley final.

Neill retired from football aged 41 after parting company with Arsenal in 1983. 

After that, he pursued a successful media career.


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