10 Jul 2021


The LMA is deeply saddened following the death of member Paul Mariner, at the age of 68, after a short illness.

Having played as a centre forward for Plymouth Argyle, Ipswich Town, Arsenal and Portsmouth, as well as making 35 appearances for England, Paul spent his latter playing years in Australia and the USA. Following his return to the UK, he took the reins back at former club Plymouth in 2009. He returned to the MLS in 2011 as Director of Player Development at Toronto FC, before a spell as Head Coach.

In tribute to Paul, LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson said: “Anyone who earned compliments from Sir Bobby Robson deserves special recognition, and Paul’s goal tally tells you everything you need to know about his ability as a striker.

“Having faced his teams as a manager, I remember Paul as a tough opponent and a great team player. His enthusiasm and passion for the game was apparent throughout his performances.

“Paul’s contribution to football, both for club and country as a player and a coach, was enormous. This is a great loss to the game and I am saddened to hear of his passing.”

LMA Chief Executive Richard Bevan added: “Paul came into management following an outstanding playing career. At Ipswich, he was part of Sir Bobby Robson's FA Cup winning side in 1978 and he lifted the 1981 UEFA Cup. For his country, he made 35 appearances for England, scoring against France at the 1982 World Cup.

“Paul was very highly respected as a player and a manager, and we particularly remember him for his kindness and generosity to his fellow coaches. He was always keen to welcome colleagues who wanted to learn from his experiences coaching overseas.

“Paul will be very much missed by his friends within the LMA and his colleagues from across football. Our thoughts are with Paul’s family and friends at such a sad time."

LMA Member, and former teammate with Ipswich Town and England, Terry Butcher said: "Paul joined Ipswich at the same time as me in 1976. He instantly took me under his wing and looked after me throughout our time together. He was a leader of our team, had so much character and was great to play alongside.

"He lived life to the full and even got me into heavy metal rock, which was great fun. He touched everybody with his kindness and humour. He had a great laugh and being around him was always uplifting.

"My thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. It is sad that one of our own has passed but I'm sure he is up there now with Kevin Beattie, having a riot."