Joe Kinnear dead at 77: Iconic former Wimbledon and Newcastle manager passes away after long battle with dementia

EX-PREMIER LEAGUE manager Joe Kinnear has died at the age of 77 following a battle with dementia.

A statement from Kinnear’s family announced the sad news on Sunday evening.


Joe Kinnear has passed away at the age of 77Credit: PA:Press AssociationKinnear won five trophies as a player with Tottenham


Kinnear won five trophies as a player with TottenhamCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd

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

“Joe, who was 77, had been suffering from dementia having been diagnosed in 2015.

“He will be remembered fondly by many – both as a player and a manager.

“His Wimbledon team finishing sixth in the 1993-94 Premier League was a phenomenal achievement.”

Kinnear became a legend playing for Tottenham between 1965 and 1975, where he made 258 appearances in all competitions.

His trophy cabinet with Spurs includes the 1967 FA Cup, the 1972 Uefa Cup and the 1971 and 1973 League Cups as well as a shared 1967 Charity Shield.

After leaving Spurs he joined Brighton, where he remained for one season.

Kinnear, who played twice for the Ireland national team, hung up his boots in 1977 and moved into management where he had a stunning journeyman career.

Joe Kinnear’s football career

JOE KINNEAR played for Tottenham between 1965-1975.

He won the FA Cup, Uefa Cup and two League Cups in the glittering spell before a 12-month stint at Brighton.

During his playing days he earned 26 caps for the Republic of Ireland.

After retiring, he got his first coaching break as assistant manager in Dubai with Al-Shabab in 1983.

Managerial spells at India and Nepal followed.

He returned to England in 1989 when he was appointed caretaker manager of Doncaster Rovers.

Kinnear’s longest manager stint came at Wimbledon in the days of the ‘Crazy Gang’ between 1992-1999.

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The Irishman led Wimbledon to one of their most successful seasons ever in 1997 when they reached the semi-finals of both domestic cups.

He went on to manager Luton and Nottingham Forest before a controversial spell at Newcastle in 2008/09.

Kinnear returned to the Toon as Director of Football in 2013/14 – his final year in football.

He started out his managerial career with the India national team in 1983, managing 13 games.

The Irishman then moved to Nepal in 1987 and guided them to being runners up in the South Asian games in the same year.

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A move into club management would follow for him on an interim basis with Doncaster in 1989.

He took charge of Wimbledon’s youth team later that year before taking the senior team job in 1992.

His appointment proved to be a masterstroke as he took the Wimbledon “crazy gang” up to sixth in the 1993/94 Premier League season.

The achievement earned him the 1994 Manager of the Year award and was voted manager of the month on three occasions.

Kinnear had two spells at Newcastle


Kinnear had two spells at NewcastleCredit: PA:Press AssociationKinnear also managed Luton and Nottingham Forest but was best known for his time at Wimbledon


Kinnear also managed Luton and Nottingham Forest but was best known for his time at WimbledonCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Wimbledon finished ninth in the following season and he would remain at the club as boss until 1999.

Kinnear took up the reigns at Luton next, where he guided the team to promotion from what was then the second division.

After leaving the Hatters he enjoyed managerial stints at Nottingham Forest in 2004 and Newcastle between 2008 and 2009.

He would return to the Magpies as director of football in 2013.

His two stints with Newcastle were marred by controversy.

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In 2008 Kinnear launched an explosive rant against journalists in which he swore 50 times in the first five minutes of the interview.

His second spell on Tyneside saw him give an infamous interview on talkSPORT where he mispronounced a number of stars’ names.

Kinnear resigned from his post at the in 2014.

In 2021 it was announced that Kinnear had been living with dementia since 2015.

Tributes poured in for Kinnear following the announcement.

John Hartson, who Kinnear famously claimed he had signed on a free when he in fact had been a £7.5million buy for Toon, said: “Sad news hearing that my ex boss Joe Kinnear has passed away..

“My thoughts are with Joe’s wife Bonnie and the Kinnear family .. RIP Gaffer.”

A Wimbledon statement said: “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 🕊️”

Crazy gang star Jason Euell said: “GAFFER 😔… Thank you for giving me my professional debut and playing a part in who I am today and who I was a player. Gone but never forgotten. Joe Kinnear – RIP.”

Luton said: “We are saddened to learn that our former manager Joe Kinnear has passed away at the age of 77. Our thoughts are with Joe’s friends and family at this time, Rest in Peace 🧡.”

Lord Alan Sugar added: “Sad news Joe Kinnear has passed away R.I.P.”

An EFL statement said: “The EFL is saddened to learn of the passing of Joe Kinnear, a man who provided so many memories as a player and a manager.”

Newcastle said: “Newcastle United is saddened to learn of the passing of Joe Kinnear at the age of 77. Joe worked at the club as both manager and director of football.

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“The thoughts of everyone at #NUFC are with Joe’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

Former club Tottenham said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former player, Joe Kinnear. The thoughts of everyone at the Club are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time.”

The official FA Cup account tweeted: “We’re saddened to learn of the passing of Joe Kinnear, who was part of the historic side to win the FA Cup in 1967 with Tottenham Hotspur. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time.”

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