Debuts Part 13: Gary Lineker

STU HORSFIELD on Gary Lineker’s perfect start to life in the Catalan capital Peter Reid takes a touch, looks up and drives a 50-yard pass, deep into the Liverpool half. Alan Hansen is caught the wrong side, the Everton number eight glides over the Wembley turf and strikes the ball left-footed towards goal. Bruce Grobbelaar […]

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Debuts Part 12: Jürgen Klinsmann

RICH BEEDIE on the goals and dives of the Premier League’s first superstar The Premier League came to be in 1992 but, arguably, it was 1994 when it really started. The World Cup that year hadn’t involved England but with plenty of stars on display, and plenty of television money burning a hole in the […]

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Debuts Part 11: Sebastian Ernst

CHRISTOPH WAGNER recalls Sebastian Ernst’s derby debut heroics for 1. FC Magdeburg, the club enjoying playing professionally for the first time in 25 years  The promotion from the regionalised fourth tier in Germany to the 3. Liga was a dream come true for fans of 1. FC Magdeburg who had to endure 25 years without professional […]

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Debuts Part 10: Sol Campbell

GARY THACKER looks back on Sol Campbell’s bizarre debut for Notts County, a game that would be his last for the club Sol Campbell was one of the Premier League’s most accomplished defenders in the early years of the 21st century. After a nine-year career at Spurs during which he lifted the League Cup in […]

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Debuts Part 9: Woodgate

Debuts aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. SAM WILSON reminisces on Jonathan Woodgate’s disastrous Real Madrid bow In Real Madrid’s famous galáctico era, the Santiago Bernabeú field was graced by the presence of some of the greatest footballers in the history of the sport: Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, and David Beckham to name but a […]

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Debuts Part 8: Ali Benarbia

TOM JACKSON on the day the mercurial Algerian talents of Ali Benarbia dazzled the Maine Road crowd Sometimes the Gods of football fate do you a favour. For Manchester City fans, 15 September 2001 was a good day. Legend has it an aging Ali Benarbia was travelling back home to France following a failed trial […]

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Debuts Part 7: Michu

JOHNNY MCLELLAND fondly remembers Michu’s explosive debut, whilst lamenting his short stay at the top table Some players burn brightly, but briefly. For a season in South Wales, Michu dazzled brighter than a diamond. However, his Premier League tenure would read like the ancient proverb: “the flame that burns twice as bright, burns half as long”. […]

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Debuts Part 6: Mark Robins

PHIL WITHALL on Mark Robins’ unforgettable Norwich debut, as the youngster silenced a shocked Highbury A player’s first game for a new club is never an easy one. For the player there are the problems of a new city, a new manager, new teammates to meet and form a bond with, and pressure. For the […]

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Debuts Part 5: Alan Shearer

LEE WYNNE remembers the formative stages of Alan Shearer’s love-affair with hitting the back of Premier League nets. The excitement in the pit of a fan’s stomach is a familiar one felt at the beginning of each new season. The previous campaign a distant memory, they dare to dream once more. The start of the […]

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Debuts Part 4: Hans Gillhaus

MARK GORDON recalls Aberdeen’s Dutch mystery man and his instant love affair with the Don’s faithful Hans Gillhaus’ first season at PSV Eindhoven turned out to the best in the club’s history, culminating in a European Cup triumph against Benfica. Gillhaus scored three goals in the cup-run, in a side which also featured Ronald Koeman. […]

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