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Andy Cole

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/7723977.stm

 

Andrew Cole's retirement from professional football this week may have been relatively low key, but his career was anything but.

 

You just have to look back at his career stats to realise that 'Goal King' Cole was a little bit special.

 

Only Alan Shearer has scored more goals than him (260) in the Premier League, with Cole notching 187.

 

Very few are more decorated than him with the Nottingham-born 37-year-old boasting a medal haul that includes five Premier League titles, two FA Cup trophies, the Champions League and the League Cup.

 

Cole - to put it in simple terms - won it all.

 

And he was not a bit part player either. His partnership with Dwight Yorke in the 1998-9 season was perhaps the most important ingredient in a United team that won a historic treble.

 

That season Cole and Yorke were untouchable, the hottest partnership in English football and were revered across Europe.

 

In all, Cole scored 93 times for the Red Devils, and went on to record 289 career goals.

 

But for all the success domestically he failed to take that form on to the internationl stage with Cole making just only appearances for England, scoring just once.

 

Cole talks to BBC Sport and looks back at the highs and lows of his 19-year career that started at Arsenal and ended at his home-town club Nottingham Forest.

 

BEST MEMORY

 

"It is hard to pick out one but I'd have to say that winning the treble at Manchester United...I don't think anything is going to top that. It was a special season."

 

BEST GOAL

 

"I've scored so many and a lot have been special so it would be difficult to say one.

 

"But maybe the goal that won us the championship (against Tottenham in 1999 on the last day of the season) in the treble-winning season would be up there."

 

BEST MANAGER

 

"Sir Alex Ferguson. He was the only manager who could always get the best out of me.

 

"I would like to believe that if I go into coaching I will learn something from him."

BEST FANS

 

"I loved the Manchester United supporters, they were great to me and I also played at St James' Park and they were incredible…I couldn't choose between them."

 

BEST PLAYING PARTNER

 

"It would be hard to choose between Dwight Yorke and Peter Beardsley. They were different players but brilliant in their own way."

 

BEST PLAYER

 

"There were so many I couldn't pick one, but Eric Cantona would be up there.

 

"I never feared any opponent but played against some great players like Paolo Maldini and Des Walker in his hey day."

 

BIGGEST REGRET

 

"I left Manchester United too early. I was only 30 and could have played on there and that is the only one that wrangles with me."

 

PLAYING FOR ENGLAND

 

"I played 15 times so I don't see that as a regret. It didn't work out, but lots of people play a lot for their country but never win a thing domestically. I've done just that and I have no axe to grind."

 

HANGING UP THE BOOTS

 

"It was an easy decision to make. I had made my mind up in September to retire from football.

 

"I went to Nottingham Forest to play as many games as possible and that wasn't happening. I knew I couldn't play all of them but I was only a bit-part player and after everything I have achieved in the game I wasn't going to do that for anybody."

 

THE FUTURE

 

"I still love the game, I haven't fallen out of love with it and that is why at some stage I want to return to it. I am doing my coaching badges and my intention is to put in what I've taken out.

 

"I'm enjoying a bit of break at the moment and having some time on my hands, but I can only do nothing for so long."

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spoilt himself. could have been the greatest

 

I bet he's gutted he went to united.

 

after leaving city? Bristol that is

Edited by Nobby

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spoilt himself. could have been the greatest

 

I bet he's gutted he went to united.

 

after leaving city? Bristol that is

 

;) NOBBY!!!

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Guest Stevie

A cunt of a man, and a black persons black man. Arrogant, aloof, undeserving and ungrateful. I had no problem with him going to Man Utd, it was our choice to sell him, unlike Spurs when a bigger club comes in, we benefitted anyway. I had some of my greatest memories of NUFC when Cole was unplayable, he was a genuine hero for 2 years, but he fucked everything walking round Wembley in 1996 singing Sad Geordie Bastards with the FA Cup in his hand. I hope he gets what he deserves in the rest of his life.

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The buzz around '94 was one of my favourite times as an NUFC fan. You just expected him to score in every game, and not just one, but twos and threes.

 

Must've made a fortune in Cole to score first bets that season. ;)

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More of a hero to me than Shearer by a million miles. I loved the unashamed joy he got from scoring and he summed up our "arrival" on the big stage.

 

I know he marked his card for a lot of people but I judge people by what they do in the shirt and he'll always be a legend to me.

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More of a hero to me than Shearer by a million miles. I loved the unashamed joy he got from scoring and he summed up our "arrival" on the big stage.

 

I know he marked his card for a lot of people but I judge people by what they do in the shirt and he'll always be a legend to me.

 

 

Ditto, hearing that he had been sold is possibly my worst footballing moment.

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Guest alex

It's an oft used cliche but I'd say in the case of Beardsley and Cole the understanding was almost telepathic. The first season in the first division was the best football we've ever played imo as well (that I've seen anyway), even if we played more effective football in some of the following seasons.

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My mate swears down that during that cup-final, the camera cut to Cole sitting on the bench just at the moment a peanut stotted off his head. Apparently funny because his head is shaped like a peanut. Funny lad my mate.

 

Was he on the bench for that match?

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Guest alex
My mate swears down that during that cup-final, the camera cut to Cole sitting on the bench just at the moment a peanut stotted off his head. Apparently funny because his head is shaped like a peanut. Funny lad my mate.

 

Was he on the bench for that match?

He started but he was subbed.

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Ditto, hearing that he had been sold is possibly my worst footballing moment.

 

 

It was terrible for me for two reasons, firstly I honestly thought that Man U would become our rivals (as they did all too briefly) and selling them our best player made no sense, and secondly I thought we'd instantly gone back to be being the selling club we'd always been.

 

I still think it was wrong to effectively write off that season in January but can't argue with the result the nest season - though a Ferdinand/Cole/Beardsley combo could have been even better.

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Guest Stevie
It's an oft used cliche but I'd say in the case of Beardsley and Cole the understanding was almost telepathic. The first season in the first division was the best football we've ever played imo as well (that I've seen anyway), even if we played more effective football in some of the following seasons.

Agree to a point but the start of the following season was the best I've seen us play, seemed like we were winning 4 and 5-1 every week.

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A cunt of a man, and a black persons black man. Arrogant, aloof, undeserving and ungrateful. I had no problem with him going to Man Utd, it was our choice to sell him, unlike Spurs when a bigger club comes in, we benefitted anyway. I had some of my greatest memories of NUFC when Cole was unplayable, he was a genuine hero for 2 years, but he fucked everything walking round Wembley in 1996 singing Sad Geordie Bastards with the FA Cup in his hand. I hope he gets what he deserves in the rest of his life.

 

agree with every word, and more besides. In fact it deserves a short article maybe.

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It's an oft used cliche but I'd say in the case of Beardsley and Cole the understanding was almost telepathic. The first season in the first division was the best football we've ever played imo as well (that I've seen anyway), even if we played more effective football in some of the following seasons.

Agree to a point but the start of the following season was the best I've seen us play, seemed like we were winning 4 and 5-1 every week.

 

Yeah, I remember us having a spell at the start of the season where we scored 3, 4, 5, 3, 4, 5 in our first 6 games...although I seem to remember Steve Watson playing up-front at the time and scoring goals, as Beardsley fractured his cheekbone at Leicester on the first game of the season.

 

Seriously, I remember more about what was happening with Newcastle when I was 8-12 than what I do in the last 2-3 years. :angry:

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