Former Arsenal and Liverpool star Michael Thomas reflects on George Graham’s miserly wage structure, THAT goal, FA Cup glory, Portuguese nightmares, and an aborted Highbury return…
Only Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer have scored more Premier League goals than ANDY COLE. The Man United legend talks Gunners frustration, claustrophobia in Newcastle, Upton Park, Treble glory, chasing a straightener with Souness, England politics, and the nonsense of the Rooney Rule.
DANNY MURPHY reflects on his days as a precociously talented teenager at Crewe, to becoming a Treble winner at his boyhood club Liverpool, to falling out with managers, European heartbreak with Fulham, and his transition from the football field to the Match Of The Day studio
BRIAN DEANE relives his goalscoring exploits at Sheffield United and Leeds, disappointment with England, scoring the first ever Premier League goal, and a successful spell as a manager in Norway that should have led to opportunities here.
PAUL PARKER discusses winning the Double at Manchester United, being elevated to England stardom at Italia 90, life as a TV pundit in Asia, and being boot-polished and strapped to a bus during less enlightened times at Fulham…
Former Rangers and Leeds United striker ROD WALLACE talks Le Tissier, Shearer, Cantona, pipping Manchester United for the last ever old First Division title, shouting drunken abuse at Howard Wilkinson at the League Cup Final, and crushing Celtic en route to a domestic Treble.
TOMMY JOHNSON on Neil Warnock, why he turned down his boyhood club Newcastle United, being starstruck at Villa, his new role as Head of Recruitment at Blackpool, plus the inside story on why John Barnes failed at Celtic.
A ‘lost’ 2015 interview with France World Cup winner EMMANUEL PETIT, who talks Monaco, winning the Double with Arsenal, the resistance to the Arsene Wenger revolution, misery at Chelsea and Barcelona, and why he turned down Sir Alex Ferguson…
The new series of Footballers’ Lives also looks at how players have transitioned away from the game.
In episode one, former Newcastle and Chelsea midfielder GAVIN PEACOCK talks Harry Redknapp, Kevin Keegan, being frozen out by Ruud Gullit, life on Match of the Day, giving it all up to become a Christian pastor in Canada, and the incredible fighting exploits of his son Jake, who is excelling in the MMA world, despite being born with only one hand…
MARK MCGHEE talks about life as a trainee architect, domestic and European glory under Sir Alex Ferguson, winning the Double at Celtic, running around after Micky Quinn, eyeing up the Manchester United manager’s job, guiding three clubs to promotion, and how he’s now mentoring footballers in his role at the Phoenix Sport & Media Group.
Former Manchester United, Spurs and France star LOUIS SAHA on being the perfect number 9, the crushing disappointment of being left out of the Champions League final, losing his identity in retirement, becoming an author, Marcus Rashford and the power of social media, the crazed obsession of Cristiano Ronaldo, and how life as an entrepreneur with Axis Stars is more exciting than football.
The rise, fall and redemption of MICHAEL BRANCH, who was hailed as Everton’s answer to Robbie Fowler in the 1990s. The prodigiously talented teenager talks about why he should have signed for Man Utd, a blossoming career under Joe Royle, his mental health struggles as he failed to live up to expectations, slipping into drug dealing, his relief at being caught, using time in prison effectively, and turning his life around when he was granted a second chance.
Former Newcastle and West Ham goalkeeper SHAKA HISLOP has enjoyed an extraordinary journey from medical science graduate, to NASA intern, to Premier League and World Cup stardom, to media pundit and presenter for ESPN in America. He’s also the honorary president of Show Racism The Red Card, and continues to pursue equality for all.
Former Portsmouth and Wigan skipper ARJAN DE ZEEUW came into professional football late after studying for a medical science degree in his native Holland, yet he still became an established Premier League player – even becoming Tony Blair’s favourite footballer… After retirement, he turned down a coaching opportunity with Swansea to retrain as a detective, and now works on murder investigations and other high profile crimes.
He played over 200 games as a pro, enjoying a spell in the top-flight with Notts County and a loan period at Manchester United. But CHRIS SHORT saw his career ruined after taking the acne drug Isotretinoin. It led to chronic muscle fatigue, and in 2001 he collapsed on the pitch at Craven Cottage. However, his 15-year battle with the drug’s shocking side effects inspired him to pursue a career in sports science.
IAN WALKER made 312 appearances for Tottenham, winning the League Cup in 1999, and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Paul Gascoigne, Jurgen Klinsmann, Christian Gross, George Graham and many other colourful characters. He also won a handful of England caps, but his international career was overshadowed by a high-profile error that led to Italy’s World Cup qualifying win at Wembley in 1997. After retiring, and thanks to his old mate Nicholas Anelka, he became a goalkeeping coach out in the Chinese Super League, where he’s been for nearly a decade.
He played over 400 games as a pro, most of them in the top-flight, and he’s now one of the most qualified coaches in the country. Here PAUL WILLIAMS talks about working with Mauricio Pochettino, keeping Coventry up with a final day goal at White Hart Lane, madness at the Baseball Ground under Robert Maxwell, how Big Ron Atkinson remains such an influential figure in his life, and how football can finally embrace a new dawn following the Greg Clarke and Gordon Taylor eras.
LEE SANDFORD played top-flight football for Portsmouth, before becoming a popular, no-nonsense defender at Stoke City and Sheffield United. He made 626 appearances as a pro, before swapping football boots for the trading floor, and he now runs courses demonstrating how anyone with a bit of drive and ambition can trade profitably from the comfort of their own homes.