Former England striker Paul Mariner dies aged 68

Jamie Spencer
Former England striker Paul Mariner played for Plymouth, Ipswich & Arsenal
Former England striker Paul Mariner played for Plymouth, Ipswich & Arsenal / Getty Images/Getty Images

Former England striker Paul Mariner, who represented the Three Lions at the European Championship in 1980 and the 1982 World Cup, has died at the age of 68.

Mariner’s family confirmed the news of his sad passing following a short battle with brain cancer, noting that he had died ‘peacefully’ on Friday.

"We would like to thank all the people who came to see him through his illness for their support and the messages that were sent to him; they meant a great deal to him and us,” a statement from the Mariner family read.

"A special thank you must go to the NHS and the unbelievable care that he received when he most needed it and for that we, as a family, will be forever in your debt.

"Paul lived a full life and was fortunate enough to represent a group of fantastic football clubs as well as his country, all of which meant the world to him.

"Anyone who knew Paul will attest to his fantastic sense of humour, his passion for life and his work. He will be sorely missed by everyone who was ever around him and by those most close to him."

Mariner started his professional career at Plymouth Argyle in the mid-1970s but it was after a move to top flight Ipswich in 1976 that he really made his name. He won the FA Cup and UEFA Cup with the club under the management of future England boss Bobby Robson.

Mariner later spent two seasons each at Arsenal and Portsmouth in the 1980s, before finishing his career with international moves to Australia and the United States. After retiring in 1993 at the age of 40, he worked a radio pundit and set up a player management company.

Mariner returned to the United States in 2003, coaching as an assistant at college level with Harvard, then moving on to MLS franchise New England Revolution. He later managed at Plymouth and also had a spell in charge of Toronto FC.

Mariner’s England career had begun in 1977, not long after his transfer to Ipswich, and continued until 1985. He played 35 times for his country and scored 13 goals.

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