Jozef Venglos, First Foreigner to Coach English Top Division Club, Dies at 84
Bratislava, January 27 (TASR) – Former Slovak football player and manager Jozef Venglos, also known as the greatest figure in the Slovak football, died on Tuesday evening at the age of 84, the Slovak Football Association and football club Slovan Bratislava reported on the same day.
Venglos coached the Czechoslovak national teams that won gold medals at the 1976 European Football Championship in Belgrade and bronze ones at the 1980 tournament in Italy. He also led Czechoslovakia’s U23 team to gold medals at the European championship in 1972.
Venglos was the first non-Briton coach ever to manage a top division club in England, as he was the head coach of Aston Villa in 1990/1991. Later in his career, he also coached Sporting Lisbon, Fenerbache Istanbul, Celtic Glasgow and Japanese team JEF United Ichihara. The Scottish team mourned his death on Twitter by stating that “everyone at the club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former FC Celtic manager Jozef Venglos… RIP Dr. Jo, YNWA.”
As for his playing career, which he had to end prematurely due to hepatitis, Venglos won two Czechoslovakian league titles with Slovan Bratislava and one title in the Malaysian league with FC Kuala Lumpur.
In Britain, Venglos was referred to as ‘Dr. Jo’ and ‘the Gentleman’. He was honoured with the UEFA Order of Merit in Diamond as well the FIFA Order of Merit for his behaviour and conduct.
Meanwhile, the executive committee of the Slovak Football Association decided on Wednesday that the coach of the year award will be named after Venglos.