Former England striker Paul Mariner dies aged 68

Taylor Twellman and Ian Darke remember Paul Mariner (1:23)

Taylor Twellman and Ian Darke share fond memories of former friend and colleague Paul Mariner. (1:23)

Former Arsenal, Ipswich Town and England striker Paul Mariner has died at the age of 68.

Mariner, who appeared on ESPN FC TV for several years, began his career with Plymouth Argyle before moving to Ipswich, where he won the FA Cup in 1978 and the UEFA Cup two years later. He won 35 caps for England over an eight-year international career, and was named in the squads for the 1980 European Championship and the 1982 World Cup.

Mariner went on to play for Arsenal and Portsmouth before finishing his career in Australia with Wollongong City and the United States with Albany Capitals and San Francisco Bay. He was an assistant coach under Steve Nicol at the New England Revolution for several seasons, helping the team get to three straight MLS Cup finals between 2005-07.

After a brief spell in charge of Plymouth in 2009, he moved to Canada and had a seven-month spell as coach of Major League Soccer franchise Toronto FC in 2012.

"We regretfully inform you that Paul passed away peacefully on 9 July surrounded by his family, after a brief battle with brain cancer," a statement from Mariner's family read. "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.

"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 him.

"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."

"Paul had a big heart, and a knack to draw you into his circle of friendship once he met you. We all mourn the passing of a good man, a beloved friend, and a valued member of the ESPN FC family," said Rodolfo Martinez, Vice President, International and ESPN Deportes Production. "We send our condolences and thoughts to his family and fans."