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Christopher Roland Waddle (born 14 December 1960 in Fellingmarker, Tyne and Wear, Englandmarker) is a former Englishmarker professional footballer. He currently co-commentates for ESPN's English Premier League football coverage.

Playing career

Early career

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 Townmarker in the 1978 close-season.

Newcastle United

After unsuccessful trials with Sunderland and Coventry City and from working in a sausage and meat pie factory he was eventually taken on by Newcastle United in July 1980 for a fee of £1,000. He made his league debut at St. James' Park against Shrewsbury Town on the 22nd of October 1980 and quickly established himself in the Magpies' side, playing alongside Kevin Keegan and Peter Beardsley as Newcastle won promotion to Division One in the 1983-84 season. He was called up for the England Under-21 side and soon made the full squad, making his debut against the Republic of Ireland in March 1985.

Tottenham Hotspur

After 46 goals in 170 games for Newcastle, he moved to Tottenham Hotspur in July 1985 for a fee of £590,000. At Tottenham he established himself as a regular in the England team, playing in the side that reached the quarter finals of the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexicomarker 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 team-mate Glenn Hoddle. In 1988, he was in the England side which lost all three group games in the European Championships.

Olympique de Marseille

In July 1989, after scoring 33 times in 138 appearances for Tottenham, Waddle moved to Olympique de Marseille for a fee of £4.5 million. In a team of stars he was one of the top players and during his time there the club were French champions three times (1990, 1991 and 1992). He missed a penalty in a shoot-out at the end of the 1990 FIFA World Cup semi-final against West Germany, hitting the ball over the bar.

During his years in Marseille, the fans gave him the nickname : "Magic Chris". He is known as the heir of former Olympique de Marseille player Roger Magnusson. He 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 also had a second stab at pop stardom, joining team mate Basile Boli in recording a song entitled We've Got a Feeling. Despite his popularity among fans for his showmanship, it is notable that it was the season immediately after Waddle left Marseille that the French club became European club champions.

Sheffield Wednesday

Waddle returned to England in July 1992 in a £1.25 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.

His performances were frequently praised by pundits like Alan Hansen as his skill and ability blessed English football once again. Despite his form he was overlooked by Graham Taylor, the then England manager. He earned just one cap under Taylor.

Waddle originally a left winger, was playing some of the best football of his career on the right wing despite being left footed. This allowed him to perform his famous 'step over' and other tricks that frequently deceived left backs before he delivered pin-point crosses for the then prolific David Hirst and other strikers like Mark Bright.

Waddle's later career at Hillsborough was marred by injuries and he was released 5 games into 1996-97 season (when the Owls were top of the premiership and having taking young sensation Richie Humphries - 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. He was past his best and had played in central midfield where he still was a creative force, but his physical deterioration was catching up.

Falkirk and Bradford City

He joined Falkirk in September 1996 but joined Bradford City the following month. With Bradford City, he scored a spectacular goal in the FA Cup against Everton which came second in the February 1997 Match of the Day Goal of the Month behind Trevor Sinclair's strike on the same day, which won Goal of the Season.


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 at the end of the season, receiving a televised slating from Sunderland manager Peter Reid during the fly-on-the-wall documentary 'Premier Passions'.


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, whereas they had been expected to be challenging for promotion.

Torquay United

Waddle left Burnley in the summer, and in September 1998 joined Torquay United. He played just 7 times for Torquay before taking up a coaching job with Sheffield Wednesday. 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.

Non-league career

Following his departure from Torquay United, Waddle enjoyed two seasons with 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.

When not commentating you will often find him making appearances in the Wragg League Sheffield for HSBC Over 35s and for Devonshire Arms FC in the Sheffield Imperial League.

Post-football career

He now frequently appears on BBC Radio Five Live as a summariser at Premier League matches and also writes a column in The Sun newspaper.

He contributed commentary to Electronic Arts' lineage of football video games, infamously including the ironic commentary remark "That's how we score'm, John." for a successfully-taken penalty. His name and occasionally photograph also appeared regularly on the Chanel 9 section of The Fast Show usually in the format - "eth eth eth. Eth eth eth. Eth eth eth Chris Waddle".

In 2005 he was charged with attacking a man in a pub in Doremarker, Sheffieldmarker, however the charge was dropped for insufficient evidence. He has one daughter, Brooke, and a son Jack.

Waddle was one of the England's fiercest critics after defeat to Portugal on penalties in World Cup 2006. In an article for the BBC website immediately after the defeat some of his harshest quotes included:
  • "...we are a quarter-final team and no more"
  • "Every time we play a team with a bit of craft and skill we can't deal with it."
  • "We have got to face reality that we are a team nowhere near the top seven countries in the world."
  • "But we have got to wake up in this country and realise that we are not a great team."

The comments were part of an article which included the post match thoughts of several high profile football analysts.

He represented Sheffield Wednesday in the 2006 Yorkshire Masters.

Waddle signed a deal with Setanta Sports to commentate on all England away matches in 2008–09. Setanta's British division went into administration and ceased broadcasting in June 2008, and Waddle co-commentates for ESPN's English Premier League football coverage.

His cousin, Alan Waddle, played league football for Halifax Town, Liverpool, Leicester City, Swansea City, Newport County, Mansfield Town, Hartlepool United and Peterborough United.


Tottenham Hotspur

Olympique Marseille

  • 1990 French Championship
  • 1991 European Cup finalist
  • 1991 French Championship
  • 1992 French Championship

Sheffield Wednesday

  • 1993 Football Writers Footballer Of The Year
  • 1993 F.A. Cup: finalist
  • 1993 Football League Cup finalist


In popular culture

Waddle's name was often used amidst the nonsensical speech used in the Chanel 9sketches on the British sketch comedy show The Fast Show. Its use in this context has no easily apparent meaning; it might perhaps relate to the fact that Waddle became well-known on the Mediterraneanmarker coast, where "Chanel 9" was vaguely supposed to be based.


In 1987, Waddle teamed up with Glenn Hoddleto record the song "Diamond Lights" which reached number 12 in the UK.


External links

1980–81 Newcastle United Second Division 13 1
1981–82 42 7
1982–83 37 7
1983–84 42 18
1984–85 First Division 36 13
1985–86 Tottenham Hotspur First Division 39 11
1986–87 39 6
1987–88 22 2
1988–89 38 14

1989–90 Olympique Marseille Division 1 37 9
1990–91 35 6
1991–92 35 7

1992–93 Sheffield Wednesday Premier League 33 1
1993–94 19 3
1994–95 25 4
1995–96 32 2

1996–97 Falkirk Division One 4 1

1996–97 Bradford City First Division 26 5
1996–97 Sunderland Premier League 7 1
1997–98 Burnley Second Division 32 1
1998–99 Torquay United Third Division 7 0

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