Former Tottenham defender and Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear has died at 77

Former Tottenham defender and Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear has died at the age of 77. Credit: PA

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

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

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

His wife Bonnie revealed in 2021 that her husband had been living with dementia since 2015.

AFC Wimbledon hailed Kinnear 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.”

Newcastle and Luton also paid tribute to Kinnear, saying in posts on X they were “saddened” to learn of his death.

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.

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

He returned to football with a brief spell as director of football at Oxford before taking on a similar role at Luton, where he would appoint himself as manager and guide the club to promotion from the Third Division during the 2001-02 season.

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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