Chris Waddle

Christopher Roland Waddle or more simply Chris Waddle, born December 14, 1960 in Heworth near Gateshead (England), is a former English footballer. Technical Gaucher, dribbler, he evolved winger position at the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and Olympique Marseille in particular, and the England team.

Waddle scored six goals in sixty-two caps with the England team between 1985 and 1991. He participated in the 1986 World Cup, Euro 1988 and 1990 World Cup.

Difficult beginnings

Waddle begins his football career in the Pelaw Juniors team.

While working in a sausage and meat pie plant, he made several inconclusive attempts in the English clubs of Sunderland AFC and Coventry City early in his career because he is considered too frail. His work at the factory, which involves hard work, allows him to develop his body a little and he grows up suddenly.

Newcastle United

In July 1980, the Newcastle United club hired him for £ 1,000 with a one-year minimum wage contract. The first two months are tough because he is weak next to his teammates and he struggles to play 90 minutes. But he begins to play more and his technique makes him a promising player, after 6 months it is extended for 2 years with a doubled salary. He made his professional league debut on October 22, 1980 at St James’ Park against Shrewsbury Town. Quickly he established himself as titular in the attack of Newcastle next to Kevin Keegan and Peter Beardsley. With his teammates he won for his club, during the 1983-1984 season, promotion to the English Football Championship. In the jersey of Newcastle he plays the 1984-1985 season in the English elite. In total, Waddle played 170 games with the club and scored 46 goals.

Tottenham Hotspur

In July 1985, Waddle wanted to move to a more ambitious club and entered into a £ 590,000 transfer with Tottenham Hotspur. In this club he asserts himself on the field and becomes a regular member of the national team. During his years at Tottenham, Waddle stands out in different ways: a special haircut that he launches fashion with young footballers (small ponytail) and a record recorded with teammate Glenn Hoddle. On the field, Waddle leads Tottenham in the 1987 FA Cup final, defeated by Coventry and in the League Cup semi-finals. The club finished third in the championship that year. He plays 173 games with Tottenham and scores 42 goals.

Olympic Marseille

In 1989, Bernard Tapie obtained the transfer of Chris Waddle to Olympique Marseille for nearly 45 million francs (about 7 million euros), a considerable sum for the time. In comparison, it was at the time the 3rd biggest transfer of all time, behind those of Diego Maradona, transferred from FC Barcelona to SSC Napoli in 1984, and Ruud Gullit who moves from PSV Eindhoven to AC Milan in 1987.

It happens however in a relative anonymity. He is even confused with the singer Pink Floyd when he arrived at the airport of Marseille, the group playing the same evening at Stade Vélodrome1. After a delicate period of three months at the beginning of the 1989-1990 season, it explodes in autumn 1989 and the Englishman is definitely adopted by the Marseille fans who love his game, his sense of show and dribble and especially the fact that he does not take himself seriously. It made everyone laugh by clowning on the field with funny faces and funny positions, such as swimming on the grass. The English southpaw has a certain talent for the set pieces. He was one of the first leftists in the history of football to flourish on the right wing, disorienting the backs of the championship of France by dribbling sways.

He scored his most famous goal on 20 March 1991 in the 75th minute in the quarter-finals of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup against AC Milan, which qualifies Marseille for the semi-finals. After a cross from Abedi Pelé deflected by Jean-Pierre Papin, the southpaw sends the ball in to volley the ball to the right. The match ends in the 88th minute after a break for a lack of lighting, the AC Milan not wanting to resume then. At the end of the match back in the locker room Waddle does not remember his goal and the end of the match, because after a shock earlier in the game he suffered a concussion, he is hospitalized in the evening for several days.

Proof of its popularity, not only in Marseille, but throughout the country, the player is ovat.