|Place of birth Felling, England|
Name Chris Waddle
Career start 1980
Weight 82 kg
|Current team Hallam|
Height 1.88 m
Spouse Lorna E. Bruce (m. 1983)
|Full name Christopher Roland Waddle|
Children Brooke Waddle, Jack Waddle
Similar People Glenn Hoddle, Jean‑Pierre Papin, Basile Boli, Lee Dixon
Date of birth (1960-12-14) 14 December 1960 (age 60)
CHRIS WADDLE BEST OF OM
Christopher Roland Waddle (born 14 December 1960) is an English former professional football player and manager, and current commentator and pundit. He still plays at semi-professional level for Northern Counties East League side Hallam, as well as being contracted to BBC Radio Five Live as part of their Premier League and Champions League team.
- CHRIS WADDLE BEST OF OM
- Chris waddle
- Early career
- Newcastle United
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Olympique de Marseille
- Sheffield Wednesday
- Falkirk and Bradford City
- Torquay United
- Non league career
- International career
- Media career
- Personal life
- In popular culture
During his professional career that lasted from 1978 to 1998, he played as a midfielder for several clubs in England, including Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield Wednesday, and Olympique de Marseille in France. Waddle earned 62 caps for the England national football team between 1985 and 1991, and was a member of England's squads for the 1986 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 1988, and the 1990 FIFA World Cup. He famously missed the decisive penalty in England's World Cup 1990 semi-final shootout defeat against West Germany. Having left Sheffield Wednesday and the Premier League in 1996, he had a brief stint with Scottish Premier League side Falkirk. He returned to England with Football League sides Bradford City and then in the Premier League with Sunderland. In 1997, he became player/manager of Burnley but having failed to gain promotion from Division Two, he quit and joined Division Three side Torquay United as a full-time player. His time at United didn't last very long and he decided to retire from professional football. In 2000, he came out of retirement by signing for semi-professional side Worksop Town of the Northern Premier League, where he remained for two years and also helped out on the club's coaching side. Having left Worksop in 2002, he moved further on down the football ladder by having brief stints with both Glapwell and Stocksbridge Park Steels before officially hanging his boots up in 2002.
Despite spending the 1997–98 season as a manager Waddle never returned to the coaching side of the game following his retirement and became a TV football pundit, commentator and sports newspaper writer. He previously worked for Setanta Sports and ESPN he currently works as an analyst for BBC Radio Five Live's Premier League football coverage. In 2013 after playing amateur football in the Sheffield area he came out of retirement for a second time by signing for Hallam at the age of 52.
Waddle began his footballing career with Pelaw Juniors, moving on to Whitehouse SC, Mount Pleasant SC, HMH Printing, Pelaw SC, Leam Lane SC and Clarke Chapman before joining Tow Law Town before the start of the 1978–79 season.
While working in food processing (a seasoning factory), Waddle had unsuccessful trials with Sunderland and Coventry City. He joined Newcastle United as a 19-year-old in July 1980 for £1,000.
He made his Second Division debut for them in a 1–0 home win over Shrewsbury Town on 22 October 1980 and quickly established himself as an effective attacking midfielder, playing alongside Kevin Keegan and Peter Beardsley as Newcastle won promotion to the First Division at the end of 1983–84 season.
In one of his first games in the top flight, against Queen's Park Rangers at Loftus Road on 22 September 1984, Waddle scored a first half hat-trick for Newcastle, who had a 4–0 lead at half time. However, a fight back by QPR saw the game end 5–5.
Despite being in his 25th year, he was called up for the England Under-21 side and made his full squad debut against Ireland in March 1985.
After 46 goals in 170 league games for Newcastle, Waddle joined Tottenham Hotspur on 1 July 1985 for a fee of £590,000 (decided by a transfer tribunal). He scored twice on his league debut, a 4–0 home win over Watford on the opening day of the league season, although Spurs had a disappointing season where they finished tenth a year after finishing third, resulting in the dismissal of Peter Shreeves as manager and the appointment of David Pleat from Luton Town as his successor.
After joining Tottenham, he played as a regular in the England team, playing in the side that reached the quarter finals of the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico linking up again with Beardsley. After the World Cup he enjoyed his most productive season. He won an FA Cup runners-up medal in 1987 when Spurs were beaten by Coventry, while they also finished third in the League and got to the semi-finals of the League Cup. In the same year, Waddle found himself in the pop charts, with the single "Diamond Lights" making the UK Top 20 in a duet with Spurs and England teammate Glenn Hoddle. In 1988, he was in the England team which lost all three group games in the European Championships.
Due to the ban on English clubs in European competitions following the Heysel disaster of 1985, there was talk that Waddle would transfer to a team outside of the country, but he went on to complete four seasons at White Hart Lane before a transfer overseas did happen.
Olympique de Marseille
On 1 July 1989, after scoring 33 times in 138 league appearances for Tottenham, Waddle moved to French club Olympique de Marseille for a fee of £4.5 million; the third highest sum ever paid for a footballer at the time. During his time in France the club were French champions three times (1990, 1991 and 1992). They were also on the losing side to Red Star Belgrade in the 1991 European Cup Final. In 1991–92, he also played alongside fellow England midfielder Trevor Steven, who spent a year in France after signing from Rangers, only to return to Scotland after a single season there.
Waddle started six games for England in their run to the semi-finals of the 1990 FIFA World Cup. In the semi-final against West Germany, he hit the post in extra time when the teams were drawing 1–1. However, his final contribution to the game was missing a penalty in the shoot-out, hitting the ball over the bar and sending the Germans through to the final. He subsequently blamed a chance meeting with Uri Geller and Michael Jackson prior to the tournament for missing his penalty. It has been reported that Geller's parting words to Waddle were 'the higher you go, the harder you fall.' He started as a substitute in the third-place play-off with Italy which England lost 2–1.
During his years at Marseille, the fans gave him the nickname : "Magic Chris" as he would watch magician Paul Daniels on VHS to combat homesickness. He was known as the successor of former Marseille player Roger Magnusson. Waddle was also voted second best OM player of the century behind Jean Pierre Papin for the club's century anniversary in 1998. Whilst at the club he again tried a pop music career, joining team mate Basile Boli in recording a song entitled We've Got a Feeling. Just a year after England's penalty shoot-out defeat in 1990, Waddle and Marseille reached the 1991 European Cup Final. Although he did not take a penalty, Waddle ended up on the losing side in a penalty shoot-out once again, after the game had ended 0–0 in normal time. By the time Marseille did win the European Cup in 1993, Waddle had left the club.
Waddle returned to England in July 1992 in a £1 million move to Sheffield Wednesday, then managed by Trevor Francis. The club reached both domestic cup finals in the 1992–93 season (losing both to Arsenal – Waddle scored Wednesday's goal in the FA Cup final replay) and Waddle was voted the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year in 1993.
He helped Wednesday reach the semi-finals of the League Cup in the 1993–94 season, but this latest attempt at winning silverware was foiled by Manchester United, and the next two seasons brought bottom-half finishes in the league for Wednesday, with Francis being axed in 1995 and Waddle's former Tottenham manager David Pleat taking over.
Despite his form he earned just three international caps under manager Graham Taylor, who had succeeded Bobby Robson in July 1990.
In January 1996, Kevin Keegan attempted to re-sign Waddle for Newcastle United as cover for David Ginola during a suspension, but Keegan's £500,000 bid to re-sign the player who had played alongside him in the Newcastle team more than a decade earlier was rejected and Keegan was unwilling to meet manager David Pleat's £1million asking price for the 35-year-old. Around this time, Celtic, Leeds United and Sunderland were also interested in signing Waddle, but none of these transfers ever happened. Burnley also expressed an interest in appointing him as their player-manager – a role he would finally take the following year – but Waddle saw out the season at Hillsborough.
Waddle's later career at Hillsborough was marred by injuries and he was released 5 games into the 1996–97 season (when the Owls were top of the premiership and having taken young sensation Ritchie Humphreys – 4 goals in 5 games – under his wing) after being frozen out of the team by David Pleat, having played 109 games and scored 10 goals with many more assists.
Falkirk and Bradford City
He joined Falkirk, in the Scottish First Division, in September 1996, but returned south of the border to play for Division One strugglers Bradford City the following month. Although short, his time at City was a success and he was a firm fans favourite. In a match away to Huddersfield Town he scored direct from a corner in a 3–3 draw live on TV. He also scored a goal in a 3-2 FA Cup win against Everton at Goodison Park which came second in the February 1997 Match of the Day Goal of the Month. His efforts with Bradford contributed to their survival in Division One, although he did not complete the season there.
He moved to Sunderland, the side he had supported as a boy, for a nominal fee of £75,000 in March 1997, but could not help Sunderland from being relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season, despite scoring once against Everton and providing the assist for all other Sunderland goals scored in that period.
In May 1997 he was appointed player-manager of Burnley, moving from Roker Park on a free transfer. Burnley had a disappointing season, only just avoiding relegation at the end of the season. He scored once during his spell at Burnley, the goal coming in a 2–2 draw with Bournemouth in October 1997.
Waddle left Burnley in the summer, and in September 1998 joined Torquay United. He played just 7 times for Torquay, before returning to Sheffield Wednesday as a coach. He was appointed reserve team coach in July 1999, and played for a local pub side, but left in June 2000 on the appointment of Paul Jewell as manager, just after the club (now blighted by financial problems) suffered relegation from the Premier League.
Following his departure from Torquay United, Waddle enjoyed two seasons with non-league Worksop Town making 60 appearances and scoring 3 goals. His most notable appearance was in a 12–0 Northern Premier League record win against Frickley Athletic. He also had a brief spell with Glapwell and one appearance for Stocksbridge Park Steels in the Northern Premier League First Division, continuing his playing career at non-league level into his early forties.
Having played at amateur level in the Sheffield Wragg Over-40s league for Hallam during 2012–13 season he came out of retirement after 11 years on the sidelines and signed for Sheffield based Non-league side Hallam on 22 July 2013. He made his debut against Chesterfield in a pre-season friendly, coming on as a substitute at half time. The game ended in a 6–2 defeat for Hallam FC. Waddle signed a one-year deal on 1 August 2013, committing to Hallam for the 2013–14 season promotion push while remaining part of the ESPN commentary team.
On 26 March 1985, when still a Newcastle player, Waddle was capped at senior level by England for the first time in a 2–1 win over Republic of Ireland. He soon became a regular member of the England squad and on 16 October that year he scored his first England goal, on his tenth international appearance, in a 5–0 win over Turkey. He was in England's squad at the 1986 and 1990 World Cups as well as the 1988 European Championships. Although England were eliminated at the group stages of Euro 88 after losing all three games, they did reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 1986 and the semi-finals in 1990, with Waddle missing one of England's penalties in the 1990 semi-final shootout defeat to West Germany. He won the last of his 62 England caps on 16 October 1991 in a 1–0 win over Turkey, more than six years after make his international debut, and having rarely missed an England game since then. He had scored six goals for England, the last against Scotland on 27 May 1989.
Waddle appeared on BBC Radio Five Live as a summariser at Premier League matches and also writes a column in The Sun newspaper. Waddle signed a deal with Setanta Sports to commentate on all England away matches in 2008–09. Waddle then went on to co-commentate for ESPN's English Premier League football coverage and is a pundit on Showsports Arabia, covering the English Premier League, from the studio in Dubai, UAE.
In 2003 Thierry Henry named Waddle in his all-time Dream Team Line up. Following England's heavy defeat to Germany in the second round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Waddle criticised the English Football Association, claiming: "The FA sit on their backsides and do nothing tournament after tournament after tournament. Why don't they listen? Why don't they look at other countries and ask 'how do they keep producing talent?' We coach talent out of players ... We lack so many ideas and it is so frustrating. The amount of money in our league is frightening and all we do is waste it on rubbish ideas ... We kid ourselves thinking we have a chance if we keep the tempo up. We can only play one way and it is poor. You can't go on playing football and hoping to win trophies playing a hundred miles an hour and putting teams under pressure for 90 minutes. You've got to be able to play slow, slow, quick and we can't do it."
Waddle has one daughter, Brooke, and a son, Jack. On 29 April 2012, Jack was given a one-year first-team contract at Chesterfield. His cousin, Alan Waddle, played league football for Halifax Town, Liverpool, Leicester City, Swansea City, Newport County, Mansfield Town, Hartlepool United and Peterborough United.
In 2005, he was charged with attacking a man in a pub in Dore, Sheffield. However, the charge was dropped for insufficient evidence.
In popular culture
Waddle was a key part of the pool of popular culture references used in the BBC comedy The Fast Show. References to, and photographs of, Waddle made regular appearances during the "Chanel 9" news segment of the show.