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Great and the good pay tribute to Le Tiss
11:19pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in Sport
Former England manager Terry Venables has admitted he regretted not picking Saints icon Matt Le Tissier for the Three Lions over a decade ago.
Le Tiss, who was capped just eight times for the national side, scored over 160 goals for Saints in a glittering domestic career, but was, for the most part, ignored by Venables during his tenure as boss between 1994 and 1996.
Now, duringthis evening's Le Tissier tribute evening at the Mayflower, Venables finally admitted he should have paid more attention to the potent Dell talisman.
“I want to make an apology because Le Tissier was a fantastic player and now I’m older and wiser I’ve realised I should probably of picked him a lot more for England,” he said.
“Le Tiss has been a real credit to the game, there’s no doubt about that, he was a wonderful player, who mastered the ball, he was brilliant for the game and everyone in the game loves him.
“I’m not just probably sure, I’m definitely sure I should have picked him.”
Venables, who took charge of England from Graham Taylor afterthe Three Lions failing to qualify for the USA 1994 World Cup, did hand the Saints legend his England bow against Denmark in a 1-0 friendly win in 94.
But, following his debut he picked the Guernsey-born forward just five more times, before Glenn Hoddle then handed Le Tiss his final two caps and ignored him for the France 1998 World Cup squad despite scoring a hat-trick in an England B international match.
The legendary number seven, who famously scored 47 out of 48 penalties, was given glowing tribute after glowing tribute in an evening which celebrated some pretty spectacular achievements in the famous red and white stripes.
From an enactment of his only penalty miss – against Nottingham Forest in the 2-1 loss in 1993 – where ‘keeper Mark Crossley took to stage and saved Le Tissier’s attempt to erase the memory of his only penalty blip.
Sky Sports presenter and Saints fan Ed Chamberlain, who hosted the event, was joined on stage by other Saints legends Francis Benali, Chris Nicholl and Lawrie McMenemy to pay homage to one of Southampton’s most iconic players.
Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, Barcelona superstar Xavi and Alan Shearer were among those to speak via video about their fondness for Le Tiss.
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