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Date: Tue Jun 23 06:00:45 GMT+00:00 1998
Paul Scholes factfile
1974: Born Salford on November 16.
1991: Signs for Manchester United as a trainee.
1993: Signs professional forms with United.
1994: Makes league debut on September 24 v Ipswich. Scores five goals in 17
league appearances during season.
1996: Scores 10 goals as United win Double.
1997: Hits three goals in 24 league appearances as Manchester United retain
Premiership title. Called into England squad. On May 24 makes debut as a
substitute against South Africa at Old Trafford. Plays for England in Le
Tournoi, scoring on his first start against Italy. On September 10 scores
opening goal in World Cup qualifier as England trounce Moldova 4-0.
1998: Makes 31 League appearances for United, scoring eight goals, as they
finish runners-up to Arsenal. Selected for England's World Cup squad. On
June 15 scores a spectacular second goal as England win opening World Cup
match against Tunisia in Marseille.
On the web at http://mufc/simplenet.com/mufc/scholes.htm
Barry your editor
1. Waiting On Batigoal (TeamTalk)
2. Scholes of top-class excellence
3. The school of Scholes salutes a boy wonder
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Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 20:02:31 +0800
Reply-To: Red Devil Marcus
Sender: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)"
From: Red Devil Marcus
Subject: Waiting On Batigoal (TeamTalk)
Bati Waiting Game Continues
United face an anxious wait to see if they can land the player who, as
expected, is turning out to be the star of France 98.
Gabriel Batistuta's hat-trick against Jamaica on Sunday emphasised his
status as one of the world's top goalscorers, and if Alex Ferguson had any
reservations about the Fiorentina ace they will certainly have vanished by
However, Ferguson may have to sit and wait until Argentina's interest in the
tournament ends before he knows if he can land Batigoal.
Batistuta has confirmed he will make a statement about his future once his,
and Argentina's, World Cup is over and that could be the invitation for
Ferguson to land his man.
Fiorentina have yet to formally comment on United's pre-tournament approach,
but is understood that a bid of around £10m has been tabled.
Chairman Martin Edwards earlier went on record to state that 'everything was
in place' for United to make a swift signing.
Edwards also added that he hoped to wrap up formalities before the World Cup
final on July 12th, but refused to reveal the identity of the player in
"It's no use hanging fire in case someone steps in ahead of you. You can be
too late if you watch the World Cup then make a move."
Ferguson has made no secret of the fact that he intends to land a world
class striker as United aim to reclaim the Premiership title, as well as
challenging for European honours, and all the evidence points favourably to
the fact that his wish may be about to come true.
Subject: Scholes of top-class excellence
by Paul Wilson (Guardian)
Sunday June 21, 1998
Quiet, clean-living home boy he might be but Paul Scholes, England's hero of
last Monday's opening World Cup victory against Tunisia, is another member
of the Paul Gascoigne fan club.
The great absentee is probably in need of something to cheer him up right
now, something that doesn't come under the heading of refuelling or answer
to the name of Evans, Baker or Five Bellies, so he might like to reflect
that he has helped influence a generation of England footballers.
Last week it was David Beckham almost crying at the memory of Italia 90 and
saying he would love to do the same; this week Gascoigne's direct
replacement in the side took the chance to pay his dues. 'Gazza was my hero
for years,' Scholes said. 'If I could do half as well as he's done I would
be very pleased.'
Hang on a minute. Glorious goal in first-ever game in World Cup finals;
Premiership title with Manchester United; rave reviews playing for England
in Le Tournoi 12 months ago; semi-finalist in Champions League last year;
starring role in United's thrilling, if ultimately vain, defeat of Juventus
at Old Trafford the following season: surely Paul Scholes has achieved half
as much as Gascoigne already?
The boyish face breaks into a smile. 'Well, I don't see it that way,' he
said. 'I'm only 23, just starting, really. Gazza has been playing at the top
Scholes may be shy, uncomplicated, not much of a lad for the celebrity
circuit or the 3am Soho kebab stop, but he is not wide-eyed with wonder
either at taking over from his hero. 'I'm not Gazza No. 2, I'm Paul Scholes
No. 1,' he said. 'I'm not following anybody, I'll try to do it my way. What
I believe, what I've been brought up to believe at Manchester United, is
that if you have the talent it will come through. Perhaps it helps that I'm
used to playing in big games with my club, but I honestly can't say I've
been worried by anything so far in my career, either playing against top
teams like Italy or following in the footsteps of Paul Gascoigne.
If the manager puts me in the team he obviously thinks I can play. The
problem really is when you are left out. As long as you can play, why be
afraid of anyone?'
Glenn Hoddle is on record as saying 'Nothing fazes Paul Scholes', and this
unshakeable self-belief is presumably what he means. It is not an act, but
neither is it quite as heroic as it sounds. Scholes knows what he does best:
he plays football; and if he thought about it at all, which he almost
certainly doesn't, he would be in complete agreement with the late Bill
Shankly's assertion that football is a simple game made complicated by
people who ought to know better.
'I don't think anything has fazed me up to now, but I can't see into the
future,' Scholes said. 'We'll just have to wait and see. I can see why
people are building the Tunisia match up into a big thing, but I'm not sure
it was the best I've played. Maybe the best in a big game. I did feel under
a certain amount of pressure to score, or produce a scoring pass, because I
felt everyone was watching to see how I would do as a replacement for Gazza.
He was a great player, after all, it was tough to be asked to fill his boots
- that's why I was a bit annoyed with myself for missing those two early
chances. Especially the header. I should have placed it rather than gone for
power, and a goal there would have rounded off an excellent move.'
The goal which did come, the one already being shown in TV clips as one of
the strikes of the tournament so far, was something of an accident, Scholes
explained with typical modesty. 'My first instinct was to play a one-two
with Paul Ince. That's what I was going to do, but my first touch wasn't
good enough. The ball ran away a little bit, but it set me up for the shot.
The other two misses weren't in my mind at all at that point. I'll always
have a go for goal if I have the chance, and that's what I ended up doing.'
Such a mundane breakdown of a great World Cup experience ranks with finding
out why Sam and Dave called their soul classic Hold on I'm Coming (one was
in the toilet when the other wanted him), but Scholes is nothing if not down
to earth. Almost blunt, in the traditional northern sense, but pleasant with
Had the game against Italy in Nantes last year been a turning point in his
career? 'Nah, not really. It was only a friendly, wasn't it?' His girlfriend
and his mother keep scrapbooks of his progress, but he does not.
Was he not tempted to live it up a little, as one or two other members of
the squad did, in the short intermission between La Manga and France? 'No, I
just relaxed and spent time with my girlfriend and my family, because I am
boring like that. I had a few things to sort out at home, getting quotes for
work on the house, that sort of thing, so it was easy to keep my usual low
On the evidence of the last few days, there are only two sets of
circumstances which find Scholes displaying anything other than his usual
low profile. One is during matches, when other players have been quick to
notice how his personality becomes transformed. Not exactly a full Jekyll
and Hyde, but the sound of Scholes's voice still comes as a surprise to
colleagues who might not have heard it in a week or more of training. 'It's
probably true I have more to say for myself on the pitch,' he said. 'You
can't not say a word then. You have to shout for the ball, speak up for
yourself, I've just got to change.'
The other occasions when Scholes becomes animated and enthused are whenever
Oldham Athletic are the subject of conversation. His father, Stewart, began
taking him to Boundary Park when the Latics were enjoying some success under
Joe Royle. Scholes has the opportunity now to pretend he is United through
and through, or that he has achieved his childhood ambition by playing at
Old Trafford, but he doesn't. It wouldn't wash.
Even now he will admit that when he attended the 1990 FA Cup semi-final
between the two clubs he wanted the Latics to win, and he was on United's
books at the time. You can tell, as he reels off a list of Oldham heroes,
that football from that period is more real to him than the fantasy he is
No wonder he doesn't let success get to him, he hasn't really thought about
it in those terms yet. 'I don't know if I am out here with my equals or
not,' he said. 'I don't worry about playing against world-class players, let
alone measure myself against them. Maybe in a few years' time I'll be able
to look back and feel satisfaction at having played with some of the best in
In some ways Scholes is like one of those talent-overcomes-all-obstacles
stories from the comic books he is far too young to remember, except that he
resolutely refuses to play along with even this stereotype. No, he does not
suffer from asthma. 'I do use an inhaler every day, even here, but it is
simply a treatment for heavy chest colds which used to keep me out for a
couple of weeks in winter. The climate here doesn't affect my breathing one
way or the other.' And no, he can't remember anyone ever telling him that he
was too small to make a footballer. 'I used to be very small, but it was
never a problem,' he said. 'I've heard people saying that about me and I
don't know where it comes from. I think people are making it up after the
event. It's a load of rubbish, in any case.'
If Scholes has anyone to thank for where he is today, it is Brian Kidd and
Archie Knox, who took him to United from Oldham's school of excellence
'where I wasn't particularly enjoying myself', and Eric Harrison, the United
youth coach who moved him forward from midfield to his present role just
behind the strikers. Oh, and Eric Cantona. 'I spent a couple of years just
watching him in training,' Scholes said. 'I wasn't told to, I just knew he
was a great player who could teach me a lot, and he did. I think I learned a
lot about when to pass and when to keep hold, to look for the runs the
forward players are making and then try to get up in support. Eric was great
at all that.'
Cantona, who has finished with football, appears content. When the time
comes, Scholes may feel the same. 'What will I be doing in 10 or 15 years'
time? Hopefully, I'll be settled down with a few kids.' Scholes, as clubmate
Teddy Sheringham has obliquely observed, is not your typical footballer.
Subject: The school of Scholes salutes a boy wonder
By Derek Potter
Monday June 22, 1998
It is unlikely Glenn Hoddle would dare contemplate dropping Paul Scholes
after his match-winning performance against Tunisia. Such is the Manchester
United forward's high standing with the public that the coach's job would be
in jeopardy should England then lose to Romania tonight.
But one coach did drop him and not only did he live to tell the tale but he
believes Scholes became a better player for it.
Vincent Turner managed his primary school team with the zeal of a
professional and the enthusiastic backing of a football-loving nun.
"I had told another boy off for being particularly cheeky," recalls Turner,
now retired from St Mary's Primary School, Langley, north of Manchester. "He
didn't react but Paul just laughed out loud and I decided he had to be
"So I dropped him for three matches. That was a hard decision because he was
the team. He was so good I used to tell the boys to get the ball into the
middle and leave the rest to 'Scholar', as they called him.
"Fortunately we won the three games Paul missed and that showed him the team
could succeed without him, that no player is ever indispensable. Paul passed
the test, didn't rebel and I never had a minute's trouble with him.
"He was easily the best young footballer I have seen. It was clear that he
would be good, though I never thought he would be good enough to play for
"When I knew him better I realised he probably laughed that day not out of
impudence but because he was quite a shy and nervy type. Some boys would
have taken the huff and packed football in then.
"I didn't think Paul would forgive me for dropping him like that, but he did."
Scholes was the spearhead of a team who regularly won the local Clayton Cup
and the Middleton junior school league title. Switching him from the right
flank to the centre of the attack despite his lack of physique (he stopped
growing just short of 5ft 7in) was an easy decision for "The Boss", his
maths, English and PE teacher. Scholes would always score even against older
and bigger boys.
Hoddle and England have a faith healer; Turner and St Mary's had Sister
Barbara Breen, the head teacher, now retired, who added to Scholes's fan
mail with a long letter of congratulations and good wishes last week.
"Sister Barbara loved football and that meant everybody tried harder to
please her," Turner recalls fondly. "She allowed me to give football a lot
of time on the curriculum because she believed it was good for the boys. She
used to watch from a classroom window and we could see her jumping up and
down every time we scored. It was usually Paul."
Scholes moved to the Cardinal Langley comprehensive school, considered an
"attentive and well-behaved" scholar. "He was good at English and maths, but
I think he lost interest later when it became clear that he had enough
talent to make football a career," says Turner.
"Sir" was delighted with his protégé's superb goal against Tunisia. "I rated
it a 10-out-of-10 goal."
Sister Barbara's accolade was equally supportive; perhaps even biased. "It
was a wonderful goal and Paul looked no different on the TV than he did all
those years ago; such a lively, lovely, healthy boy, full of life." Full of
football and goals too.
What St Mary's and Sister Barbara already knew was confirmed when Scholes
joined a local club, Boundary Park Juniors, where his flair developed and
his goals flowed, once almost 70 in a season. David Platt, Trevor Sinclair
and Scholes's United team-mates Nicky Butt and Gary and Phil Neville all
graduated from that academy, one that produced footballers seemingly for fun
and worth an estimated £40 million.
United's assistant manager Brian Kidd, a north Mancunian himself, scooped up
the best, including the asthma sufferer Scholes, into the Old Trafford net.
Cricket nets at the other Old Trafford might have captured Scholes had the
current football calendar allowed the development of dual sportsmen like the
Comptons, Willie Watson, Arthur Milton and many others.
Scholes enjoyed cricket. "He was a batsman and a natural off-spinner who
could also hurl the ball down," recalls Mike Coffey, his sports master at
Cardinal Langley and a United scout.
"He joined the local club [Middleton CC] and I'm sure he could have at least
played at Lancashire League level. But he was totally focused on football.
That was his only interest, though he was the type who was so enviably good
at any ball game. He never got into trouble."
Coffey has been logged as the scout who discovered Scholes. There were, he
stresses, others equally impressed to recommend the youngster to United.
Scholes was first "spotted" by Pat Horrocks, his teacher in the first year
of junior school. "I know nothing about football," she admits. "But I could
see that, while the ball ran away from the other boys, it seemed to be tied
to Paul's feet. I got quite excited about his obvious talent.
"It's no surprise he's developed. Despite his ability he was always so
unassuming and never made a fuss.
"The children loved watching him play in Marseilles. They were wild with
excitement and pride."
Until recently Scholes, 23, stuck to his roots, living with his parents and
sister Joanne, 20, on the huge Langley estate, one of Europe's biggest.
Paul's father, Stewart, a footballer of semi-professional standard who still
plays, says: "Of course we're all proud, but we just prefer to stay in the
background. We like the low profile."
Scholes is flying the family out for England's final group game on Friday
when he will again be in the spotlight, happy for his feet to do the
talking. His family will do their best to be lost in the crowd in Lens.
"Our Paul" has already had the first, and last, laugh in his career. It is
some way from being over.
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