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‘You will always be with me’: Tributes paid after former England striker Paul Mariner dies aged 68

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Former Ipswich and England footballer Paul Mariner has died at the age of 68 after suffering from brain cancer.

Mariner, who began his career at Plymouth Argyle, scored 139 goals in 339 games for Ipswich and was a member of their FA Cup winning side of 1978 and the team that won the UEFA Cup in 1981.

He had 35 caps for England, scoring 13 goals for his country between 1977 and 1985.

The news was confirmed by the footballer’s family who paid tribute to his “fantastic sense of humour” and “passion for life” in a statement posted to his Twitter account.

Former Ipswich players (left to right) Russell Osman, Paul Mariner and John Wark arrive for the Sir Bobby Robson Thanksgiving Service at Durham Cathedral, Durham.
Image: Mariner (centre) with former Ipswich players Russell Osman (left) and John Wark (right) in 2009
Soccer - 1980 British Home Championship - Scotland v England - Hampden Park
England's Paul Mariner (c) in action with Scotland's Willie Miller (l). The Referee in the back ground is Antonio Jose da Silva Garrido from Portugal.
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Image: England’s Paul Mariner (right) in action with Scotland’s Willie Miller (left) in 1980

It read: “We regretfully inform you that Paul passed away peacefully on the 9th of July surrounded by his family, after a brief battle with brain cancer.

“We would like to thank all the people who came to see him through his illness for their support and the messages that were sent to him, they meant a great deal to him and us.

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“A special thank you must go to the NHS and the unbelievable care that he received when he most needed it and for that we, as a family, will be forever in your debt.

“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 hm.

“Anyone who knew Paul will attest to his fantastic sense of humour, his passion for life and his work. He will be sorely missed by everyone who was ever around him and by those most close to him.”

Paying tribute to the striker, the England Twitter account posted: “We’re sad to have learned that Paul Mariner, who made 35 appearances for the #ThreeLions, has passed away at the age of 68.

“Mariner represented England between 1977 and 1985, scoring 13 goals.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family, friends and former clubs.”

It was reported last year that Mariner, whose other clubs included Arsenal and Portsmouth, had undergone surgery on a brain tumour.

He also had playing and coaching spells in the United States and he managed Plymouth during the 2009-10 season.

A tweet from Ipswich read: “We are devastated to hear the news of the passing of Town legend Paul Mariner at the age of 68. The thoughts of everyone at #itfc are with Paul’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Plymouth Argyle FC said: “The Argyle family is devastated to learn of the passing of legendary former striker and manager, Paul Mariner.

“Paul made 155 appearances, scoring 61 times, between 1973-76, before managing the club between 2009/10. Our thoughts are with Paul’s family and friends.”

Former England, Manchester United and Millwall footballer Gordon Hill also posted a tribute on Twitter.

He wrote: “I got the sad news a couple of hours ago of the passing of my very good and close friend Paul Mariner.

“It is heart breaking to me as we was close and roomed together in the England team. Rest in peace PM you will always be with me and remembered fondly.”