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Matthew Paul "Matt" Le Tissier (born 14 October 1968) is a retired Englishmarker footballer who played for Southampton FC and England.

An attacking midfielder blessed with exceptional technical skills,Le Tissier is the second-highest ever scorer for Southampton behind Mick Channon. He was also the first midfielder to score 101: goals in the Premier League.

He was also notable for his incredible record at scoring penalty kicks, considered by many to be the greatest penalty taker in the history of the game. He converted from the spot 48 times from 49 attempts, with his sole miss coming against Nottingham Forest, after a save from keeper Mark Crossley.

Club career

Le Tissier was born in Guernseymarker, and played youth football on the island with Vale Recreation. On leaving school in 1985, he had a trial at Oxford United, but nothing came of it.

Signing for Southampton FC the following year, Le Tissier made his club debut in a 4-3 defeat at Norwich City in the Football League First Division, and by the end of that season had scored six goals in 24 games. He made 19 first team appearances in 1987-88, failing to score, but in 1988-89 scored nine times in 28 league games. He was voted PFA Young Player of the Year for the 1989-90, in which he was one of the league's top goalscorers with 20 goals.

Le Tissier's top scoring season was 1993–94, when he scored 30 goals. The following season he won the Match Of The Day Goal of the Season award for his drifting 40-yard lob against Blackburn Roversmarker, scoring against his long term friend, and former Southampton keeper, Tim Flowers.

He scored the last goal in the final competitive match played at The Dellmarker on 19 May 2001, against Arsenal. He played several games for the club during 2001-02, the first season at the new St Mary's Stadiummarker, in an eventuall 11th-place finish. Le Tissier then announced his retirement from playing. His final match against an England XI in May 2002 ended in a 9–9 draw, with Le Tissier playing 45 minutes for each side, while his son came on as a substitute in the second half, scoring four times. Italianmarker politician Giancarlo Giorgetti, also vice-president of the Italian Saints Southampton supporters club, travelled to England to bestow upon the player a commemorative plaque, in a match against Derby County.

Le Tissier made a cameo appearance for Southampton in Claus Lundekvam's testimonial match against Celtic FC, on 18 July 2008.The Norwegianmarker defender shared teams with him from 1996-2002.

International career

As a Channel Islander, he was eligible for any of the Home Nations teams. He played eight times for England during three years, without scoring.

In the run up to 1998 FIFA World Cup, he scored a hat-trick in a game for England B; despite this, he was controversially overlooked by manager Glenn Hoddle for the final squad.

Post-retirement

Le Tissier had one of the hospitality suites at the St Mary's Stadium named after him, and also an apartment block built on the old site of The Dell.

On 7 February 2007, he had a plane in the Flybe fleet named after him, on his home island of Guernseymarker.

Additionally, Le Tissier worked as a pundit for Sky Sports' Gillette Soccer Saturday. On 29 June 2009, he made his debut as the guest in Dictionary Corner on the Channel 4 game show Countdown, hosted by Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling.

After Southampton's relegation to level three in 2008-09, Le Tissier initially put forth a bid to take over the club, but later withdrew, amidst some controversy.

In September 2009, Le Tissier revealed in his autobiography that he had placed a spread bet on a match he was involved in during his playing career. During an April 1995 match at Wimbledon, Le Tissier stood to win "well into four figures" after betting on the time of the first throw-in. After choosing to kick off, he tried to overhit a pass to unsuspecting teammate Neil Shipperley, but due to nerves, underhit it and Shipperley was able to keep the ball in play. Le Tissier revealed he had "never run so much" in his life as he tried to put the ball out of play to avoid losing money, with the ball eventually going out of play after 70 seconds, meaning Le Tissier and his associates neither won nor lost money.

Personal life

Le Tissier married childhood sweetheart Cathy and had two children, but the couple divorced in 1997 and Cathy and the children moved back to Guernseymarker.

All three of Le Tissier's brothers – Mark, Kevin and Karl – also played football, but never professionally. Mark is currently chairman of the Guernsey Football Association.

See also



References

  1. Sports Illustrated biography
  2. http://www.premierleague.com/page/Statistics/0,,12306,00.html
  3. Deadly from 12: All-Time EPL Penalty-Takers
  4. Mail Online - Who's the Daddy from 12 yards out? Tell us who is your favourite penalty taker of all time
  5. [1]
  6. Political football
  7. Flybe photo
  8. Southampton on the brink as Matthew Le Tissier pulls out of takeover
  9. Football League deny Matthew Le Tissier claims


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