Former Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear dies aged 77

Former Tottenham defender and Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear has died at the age of 77, his family have announced.

Dublin-born Kinnear, who won the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup as a player with Tottenham, also went on to manage Luton, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle.

A statement said: “We are sad to announce that Joe passed away peacefully this afternoon surrounded by his family.”

AFC Wimbledon hailed their former boss as a “true legend of the club”.

The Sky Bet League Two club wrote on X: “Everyone connected with Wimbledon was deeply saddened to hear the news that our former manager, Joe Kinnear, has passed away.

“A true legend of the club, Joe gave us some amazing memories that we treasure.

“Our deepest condolences go to his family at this difficult time.”

Joe Kinnear during his time as a Tottenham player
Joe Kinnear during his time as a Tottenham player (PA).

Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou added on Sky Sports: “He’s one of those players who will be remembered forever at this club, and a distinguished manager as well.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to about him said he was a real gentleman and he will never be forgotten at this football club.”

The English Football League remembered Kinnear as “a man who provided so many memories as a player and a manager”.

Newcastle and Luton also paid tribute to Kinnear in posts on X, while the Football Association of Ireland said: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with Joe’s family and his many friends in football at this difficult time.”

Kinnear, who won 26 caps with the Republic of Ireland during his career, joined Tottenham as a teenager in 1963 before making his debut in 1966.

He spent the next decade at White Hart Lane, lifting the FA Cup in 1967, the UEFA Cup in 1972 and the League Cup in both 1971 and 1973, making more than 250 appearances for the club before spending the final season of his playing career at Brighton.

Kinnear began his coaching career in Asia, working in the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia, before spells with India and Nepal.

He returned to England to become Dave Mackay’s assistant at Doncaster and was named Wimbledon boss in 1992.

Kinnear led the Dons to a sixth-placed finish in the top flight in the 1993-94 season and guided them to the semi-finals of both the FA Cup and League Cup in 1997.

He suffered a heart attack before a league game against Sheffield Wednesday in March 1999 and stood down in June of that year.

Former forward Marcus Gayle, whom Kinnear signed for Wimbledon in 1994, praised the spirit he fostered at the club.

He told Sky Sports: “We had to band together, that was the only way to compete against the big boys of the league, Joe epitomised every ounce of that.”

He added: “His character would be needed in today’s game. He put a smile on people’s faces.”

Joe Kinnear
Joe Kinnear spent seven years as Wimbledon manager (Sean Dempsey/PA).

He took the Nottingham Forest job in February 2004 and later replaced Kevin Keegan at Newcastle in 2008.

In February 2009, Kinnear was taken to hospital after feeling ill ahead of a match against West Brom and it was later announced he needed a heart bypass operation, leading to Alan Shearer taking the job until the end of the season.

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