Chris Waddle

Position: Winger

Newcastle United Career: 1980-1985

Height: 6ft 2ins

Born: December 14th, 1960

 

He went on to play in the European Cup with Marseille, in an FA Cup final with Tottenham and, perhaps most famously of all, at the World Cup finals with England. But there was a time when Christopher Roland Waddle was little more than a sausage seasoner from Gateshead.

Signed for just £1,000 from Northern League outfit Tow Law Town, first impressions of Waddle were mixed, with many questioning his gangly running style and lack of strength. Both Sunderland and Coventry City had already rejected him, but Newcastle took a gamble on the then 19-year-old and handed him a one-year contract during the summer of 1980.

A change of manager soon after his arrival seemed to work in Waddle's favour, and under Arthur Cox, the Felling-born winger broke into the United first-team and began to show real promise.

His progress was aided further with the shock signing of Kevin Keegan, who seemed to have a positive effect on Waddle, and from October 1982 he never missed a game for the next 106 fixtures and was an ever-present during the Club's promotion campaign in 1983/84, scoring an impressive 18 goals.

Waddle was now one of the most talked about talents in the English game, and his quick feet, creativity and eye for goal helped make his transition to the top flight an effortless one.

Under the watching eye of England manager Bobby Robson, Waddle plundered a first-half hat-trick against Queens Park Rangers in September 1984 and was voted runner-up to Mark Hughes in the PFA Young Player of the Year award having scored 16 goals.

Having broken into the England set-up, Waddle's stock continued to rise, and following a devastating performance against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, the North London club decided to test United's resolve with a hefty offer. The bid fell short of Newcastle's valuation, so in July 1985, a tribunal settled the fee at £590,000 and Waddle was on his way.

His career continued to progress having left Tyneside and after four-years at Spurs, he went on to make his mark on the continent with Marseille before returning to England with Sheffield Wednesday.

But perhaps his most infamous episode came during the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1990. With the game against Germany deadlocked after 120-minutes, the tie went to penalties, with Waddle putting England's decisive spot-kick high into the stands.

 

DEBUT: Shrewsbury Town (h) 22/10/80

NEWCASTLE APPEARANCES:
Football League: 169; 46 goals
FA Cup: 12; 4 goals
League Cup: 9; 2 goals
TOTAL: 190; 52 goals

HONOURS:
England caps: 62; 6 goals
French League Championship winner: 1990, 1991, 1992
World Cup fourth-place medal: 1990