The football world is paying tribute to former Ipswich and England striker Paul Mariner after he died at the age of 68.
Mariner, who played at the 1982 World Cup, scored 139 goals in 339 games for Ipswich in a golden era in which they won the FA Cup in 1978 and UEFA Cup in 1981. His other clubs included Plymouth, Arsenal and Portsmouth while he also earned 35 England caps and scored 13 times for his country.
He also had spells playing and coaching in the United States and he managed Plymouth during the 2009-10 season. He later managed Toronto FC and worked as a media pundit.
Mariner had been battling brain cancer. A statement from his family said he passed away peacefully on July 9 surrounded by his family.
It read: “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 for his work. He will be sorely missed by everyone who was ever around him and by those most close to him.”
The family also thanked those who had supported him through his illness and the NHS, which they praised for its “unbelievable care”.
A message from the Mariner family. https://t.co/MjVK1xXtuG— Paul Mariner (@Paul Mariner) 1625902060
Ipswich Town and England lead the tributes to Mariner, following the announcement on Saturday morning:
We are devastated to hear the news of the passing of Town legend Paul Mariner at the age of 68. The thoughts of ev… https://t.co/QohkIbnT22— Ipswich Town FC (@Ipswich Town FC) 1625900645
We're sad to have learned that Paul Mariner, who made 35 appearances for the #ThreeLions, has passed away at the ag… https://t.co/iOlYO8sCiY— England (@England) 1625900605
Former footballers and sport journalists were also among those remembering Mariner:
I got the sad news a couple of hours ago of the passing of my very good and close friend Paul Mariner. It it hea… https://t.co/rrcNpO84Uo— Gordon Hill (@Gordon Hill) 1625894668
Heart-breaking news. RIP Paul Mariner, 68. FA Cup, Uefa Cup winner #ITFC. 35 England caps, 13 goals. Wonderful targ… https://t.co/ckhM33UZ5o— Henry Winter (@Henry Winter) 1625901121
The Argyle family is devastated to learn of the passing of legendary former striker and manager, Paul Mariner. Pau… https://t.co/oy1Td6QvwX— Plymouth Argyle FC (@Plymouth Argyle FC) 1625902037
Really sad news this is. Paul Mariner was an outstanding footballer. Thoughts and condolences to the Mariner family. https://t.co/XSRCZKN8hK— Chris Sutton (@Chris Sutton) 1625903851
The outpouring of affection for Paul Mariner from fans of the clubs he played for says so much. Also scored the goa… https://t.co/6kQV1IvQMG— Nigel Adderley (@Nigel Adderley) 1625902879
Thoughts with the family of Paul Mariner. Great man, player and colleague. RIP— Janusz Michallik (@Janusz Michallik) 1625903324
Extremely saddened to learn of the passing away of Argyle legend Paul Mariner. I never saw him play for the Pilgrim… https://t.co/Vk9VSZLXaq— Chris Errington (@Chris Errington) 1625901426
We are so saddened by the news that Paul Mariner has died. Paul was a hugely respected member of our sports team du… https://t.co/fIvPVNJdB9— BBC Sport Lancashire (@BBC Sport Lancashire) 1625901450
It is with a heavy ❤️ that I tell you @Paul_Mariner is no longer with us. I feel so fortunate to call him a friend… https://t.co/njSLwAJqqh— Taylor Twellman (@Taylor Twellman) 1625901669
RIP 🙏 Paul Mariner was one of THE strikers when I grew up https://t.co/vtvoBDXM2d— Jan Aage Fjørtoft 🏳️🌈 🇳🇴 (@Jan Aage Fjørtoft 🏳️🌈 🇳🇴) 1625904311
Absolutely gutted to hear of the passing of my childhood footballing hero Paul Mariner an Ipswich Town and England… https://t.co/ly7ko0iEIR— Kevin Painter (@Kevin Painter) 1625904052
Others shared clips of some of Mariner’s most important or famous goals, including when he scored against Hungary to take England through to the 1982 World Cup.
Really sad to hear the news of Paul Mariner’s passing. Here he scores the goal against Hungary to take England to t… https://t.co/VeoNIQY88j— @forgottengoals (@@forgottengoals) 1625903538
RIP Paul Mariner, such awful news. This was his first goal for Ipswich Town after Bobby Robson had signed him from… https://t.co/jtHqWLBMRh— Gary Taphouse (@Gary Taphouse) 1625901639
Terry Butcher, a former team-mate with Ipswich and England, also paid tribute.
Butcher told Sky Sports News: “I remember him standing there, his chest was out, his chin was high, he was standing to attention. He was just perfect. That’s the example I wanted to follow.
“What it meant to him to play for England was everything. He was totally committed for England.”
We will continue to update this story.