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Terry Venables: A Man Can Dream

  • 2021
  • Documentary and factual
  • News and current affairs

Summary

A look at the life and times of the former football manager, intertwined with the story of England's unforgettable run at Euro 96, with insight from players, friends and family

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Review

For most players who then become managers, football is their entire life. That wasn’t the case for Terry Venables, who narrates this fabulous, swaggering story of his career. Venables was running shops, pubs and gents’ outfitters on the side early on in his professional life, continuing to pursue interests in singing and fiction writing even as he ascended towards the job for which he was made: England football coach.

Legends of his effortless successes and artfully airbrushed mis-steps are told here, interspersed with a game-by-game breakdown of England’s mazey run to the semi-final of Euro 96, as recalled by the players: in a film bursting with good interviewees, Gareth Southgate is a funny, erudite stand-out.

At the climax of the film we see how even for a man as irrepressibly adventurous as Venables, ultimately football was indeed everything, and such lives can be defined by a single moment. In golden-goal extra time against Germany, the ball rolls across the six-yard box and it looks like Paul Gascoigne has an open goal…

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