Stuart Pearce MBE:
Stuart 'Psycho' Pearce was born 24 April 1962 in Hammersmith, West London. After leaving school he failed a trial at Queens Park Rangers and then rejected an offer from Hull City, instead settling into a career in the non-league game with his local side, Wealdstone, while training and working as an electrician.
In 1983 Wealdstone received an unexpected offer of £30,000 (then a huge sum for a semi-professional player) for Pearce from then top-flight club Coventry City, managed by Bobby Gould, making his professional debut for Coventry immediately.
Two years later he was brought to Nottingham Forest by manager Brian Clough as the makeweight in a £300,000 deal which also saw Coventry's centre back Ian Butterworth move to Forest. Indeed, so unsure was Pearce of his footballing future that, after the transfer, he actually advertised his services as an electrician in Forest's match-day programme.
Pearce went on to spend 12 years at Forest, making over 400 appearances, most of them as club captain. After leaving Forest in 1997, Pearce had spells with Newcastle, West Ham and Manchester City. The last of his 78 England caps was in a goalless draw in Poland on 8 September 1999. Throughout his career he was given the nickname of "Psycho," for his unforgiving style of play. His autobiography, "Psycho" was released in 2001 and became a Sunday Times best seller.
Waddle was born 14 December 1960 in Felling, Tyne and Wear.
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 Town before the start of the 1978–79 season.
While working in a sausage factory, Waddle had unsuccessful trials with Sunderland and Coventry City. He joined Newcastle United as a 19-year-old in July 1980 for £1,000.
He made his professional debut for them in a 2nd Division match against Shrewsbury Town on 22 October 1980.
During his professional career that lasted from 1978 to 1998, he played for clubs including Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Sheffield Wednesday, bradford, Sunderland and Burnley in England, and Olympique de Marseille in France.
Waddle racked up more than 650 club appearances during his career and won 62 caps for the England national football team between 1985 and 1991.
Lambert was born 16 February 1982 in Kirkby, Merseyside.
Lambert joined local club Liverpool as a youngster aged 10, but was released when he was 15.
Lambert tried out for non-league side Marine,before becoming a trainee with Blackpool in August 1998 at the age of 16. He made his professional debut on 7 August 1999 as a 17-year-old but was released by Steve McMahon in November 2000.
Lambert remained a free agent for almost four months, during which time he worked in a beetroot bottling plant to make ends meet, until he was signed by another Third Division club, Macclesfield Town in March 2001. Lambert then signed for Stockport in 2002, Rochdale in 2005 and joined Bristol Rovers in 2006.
On 10 August 2009, with a total of 155 appearances and 59 goals for Bristol Rovers, Lambert completed a move worth in excess of £1 million to League One club Southampton.
On 2 June 2014, aged 32, Lambert was confirmed as a Liverpool player, signing a two-year deal for an initial £4 million transfer fee. To date Lambert has made over 600 appearances at club level, scoring over 230 goals in all competitions, as well as making a goal scoring England debut in 2013 versus Scotland and appearing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:
Born in Kristiansund, Møre og Romsdal, Norway Solskjær completed a year's national service in the Norwegian Army, before signing the same year with Norwegian Third Division side Clausenengen F.K. He moved to Norwegian Premier League Molde F.K. in 1994.
Solskjaer joined Manchester United on 29 July 1996, for a transfer fee of £1.5m. He will perhaps be best remembered as a "super-sub" having earned wide acclaim for a habit of coming into matches late on as a substitute and scoring goals.
The Norwegian went on to score the stoppage time winning goal against Bayern Munich in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final held in the Camp Nou in Barcelona, again after coming on as a substitute. Ferguson introduced Solskjaer into the fray with just 10 minutes of the game remaining with United trailing 1-0. announced his retirement from professional football on 27 August 2007. He made over 230 Solskjaer appearances for 'The Reds' scoring over 90 goals.
Windass was born in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire on 1 April 1969.
He started his footballing career as a YTS trainee at Hull City before being released by manager Brian Horton. He had unsuccessful trials at professional clubs Sunderland, Cambridge United, and York City and instead started playing for non-league North Ferriby United while also having to work on building sites and packing frozen peas.
Windass was brought back to Hull by manager Terry Dolan in October 1991, entering professional league football at the relatively late age of 22.
Windass who was often seen as a controversial player, once being sent off three times in a game for Aberdeen, once for foul play (having previously been booked), another for verbally abusing the referee and a third for taking out his frustration on a corner flag as he left the field – for which he received a six-match ban. Windass went on to make over 700 appearances for a number of clubs including Hull, Bradford, Aberdeen, Oxford United, Middlesbrough, Sheffield United and Oldham Athletic.
He announced his retirement on 19 October 2009 after a brief spell at Darlington as player–assistant manager.
Peter Schmiechel MBE:
Peter Schmeichel MBE was born 18 November 1963 in Gladsaxe, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Before becoming a professional footballer, Schmeichel had to work a number of jobs to make ends meet. His first job came in the dyeing department of a textile factory, but his concerns with the factory's policy on safety eventually forced him to hand in his notice. He then spent 12 months as a cleaner at an old people's home, before taking up an office job with the World Wildlife Fund. He originally worked in the organisation's shops, but three weeks after he joined, the store manager quit and Schmeichel was promoted to the position of sales manager. Soon after, Schmeichel was called upon to do his four weeks of compulsory military service.
A job with his father-in-law's flooring firm came next, until he realised that his knees could not support his 15 stone frame for eight hours a day, and he was offered a job with the advertising firm. This was to be his last job outside football, as he was offered a contract with Brøndby in spring of 1987.
Manchester United bought him in 1991 for £505,000 and he went on to win ten major trophies in eight seasons. Schmeichel decided to leave English football at the end of the 1998–99 season, and he moved to Sporting Lisbon. Schmeichel returned to England with Aston Villa in July 2001. In 2002, Schmeichel completed a move to Manchester City. Schmeichel announced his retirement from football in April 2003.
Neville Southall MBE:
During his teenage years he worked as a binman, waiter and hod carrier. As a teenager, Southall had unsuccessful trials at Wrexham, Crewe Alexandra and Bolton Wanderers.
After a number of years as a semi-professional and amateur player Southall joined Bury from Winsford United for a £6,000 fee in 1980, and turned professional in his early 20's. In his first season for Bury Southall kept 15 clean sheets in his 44 domestic appearances during the 1980-81 season, and was named as Bury's Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year.
He moved on to Everton for £150,000 in 1981.
Southall went on to make a club record 750 appearances for Everton in all competitionsr as well as 92 caps for Wales. His honours with the club include a European Cup Winners' Cup medal in 1985, a First Division championship medal in 1984–85 and 1986–87, an FA Cup winners medal in 1984 and 1995. In 1985 Southall was named 'The Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year.'
Southall played his final game for Everton on 29 November 1997, before going on to play for some lower league clubs including: Stoke, Doncaster and Torquay. He eventually hung up his gloves at the end of the 2000/01 season.
In August 2012, his autobiography 'The Binman Chronicles' was released. It was the sixth best selling football book of 2012.
Born in Hungerford, Berkshire, Austin trained with Reading's youth teams as a youngster but was released for being too small. He subsequently played for local team Kintbury Rangers and his hometown side Hungerford Town. Moving with his family to Bournemouth, he then switched to nearby semi-professional Wessex League Premier Division team Poole Town while also working as a bricklayer.
Austin was offered a trial at Swindon Town in September 2009 and made his debut appearance for Swindon Town on 6 October in a 1–1 draw with Exeter in the 2009–10 Football League Trophy.
On 28 January 2011, Austin signed for Burnley. On 23 October 2012, Austin scored two goals in a win over Bristol City, and subsequently equalled Ray Pointer's club record of scoring in eight consecutive appearances, set in the 1958–59 season. Two weeks later, on 6 November 2012, Austin broke another Burnley record, as he became the quickest-ever player to reach 20 goals in a season after scoring in a 1–0 win over Leeds United — his 17th appearance of the season.
On 8 July 2013, a fee was agreed between Burnley and Premier League club Hull City for Austin. However, on 9 July 2013, Austin failed his medical and Hull pulled out of the deal.
Austin moved to Queens Park Rangers, on a three-year deal, on 1 August 2013.
Pardew was born 18 July 1961 in Wimbledon, South London. Pardew started his career as a part-time player in non-League football at Whyteleafe and Epsom and Ewell, whilst working as a glazier. At one stage he gave up football for six months whilst working in the Middle East, but he returned to football at Corinthian Casuals before later having spells at Dulwich Hamlet and Yeovil Town.
Pardew moved to Crystal Palace in 1987 for a fee of £7,500. In 1989, he helped Palace win promotion to the First Division after beating Blackburn in the play-offs. The following year, in 1990, he scored the winning goal as Palace memorably beat Liverpool 4–3 after extra-time in a thrilling FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park.
He then played in both the final and the final replay as Palace lost to Manchester United.
After playing more than 120 games for Palace, Pardew moved to South London rivals Charlton Athletic in November 1991. He went onto make over 100 appearances for 'The Addicks' before joining Barnet, and becoming a player-coach under manager Terry Bullivant in 1995. He finished his playing career with the North London outfit in 1997.
Since turning to management in March 1998 with Reading, Pardew has been involved in several controversial and high profile incidents over the years. During this time he has upset the FA, the BBC, abused numerous managers and rival fans and even assaulted a player!
In March and November 2006, Pardew had disputes with Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger.
In February 2007, shortly before Pardew's new club Charlton faced West Ham, Pardew 'jokingly' made several disparaging comments about West Ham's fans.
On the opening day of the 2012/13 Premier League season, Pardew, the Newcastle manager pushed an official after an incident where the ball appeared to go over the touchline, but the referee deemed it to still be in play.
In January 2014, during the Premier League match against Manchester City Pardew verbally abused opposition manager Manuel Pellegrini. After the initial skirmish Pardew was caught on Sky Sports television cameras calling Pellegrini "a fucking old cunt."
In March 2014 Pardew was sent to the stands after headbutting Hull City player David Meyler.
Bill Shankley OBE:
Shankly was born on 2 September 1913 in a small Ayrshire coal mining village, called Glenbuck, whose population in 1913, the year of Shankly's birth, was around 700.
After Shankly left school in 1928, he worked at a local mine alongside his brother Bob.
He did this for two years until the pit closed and he faced unemployment.
While Shankly was employed as a miner, he played football as often as possible. Shankly developed his skills to the point that he was unemployed for only a few months before Carlisle United signed him. He was invited for a month's trial and was signed after just one trial match for Carlisle's reserves against Middlesbrough reserves, even though Carlisle reserves lost the match 6–0. Shankly made his senior debut on 31 December 1932 in a 2–2 draw against Rochdale and made 16 appearances for the first team. Soon after the 1932–33 season ended, Shankly received a telegram from Carlisle United asking him to return as soon as possible, Arriving at Carlisle, he discovered that Preston North End were keen to sign him and had who had offered a fee of £500. The terms for Shankly personally were a fee of £50 plus a £10 signing-on fee and wages of five pounds a week. Shankly's initial reaction was that it was not enough and the deal nearly fell through, but Shankly's brother Alec pointed out to him that Preston were in the Second Division and a bigger club than Carlisle with the potential to regain First Division status. Shankley helped Preston win the FA Cup in 1937–38.
Shankly had just reached his 26th birthday when the Second World War began and the war claimed the peak years of his playing career. He joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) and managed to play in numerous wartime league, cup and exhibition matches for Norwich City, Arsenal, Luton Town and Partick Thistle, depending on where he was stationed. With the resumption of full League football again in the 1946–47 season, Shankly returned to Preston who held his registration, but he was now 33 and coming to the end of his playing days. By 1949, he was Preston's club captain but had lost his place in the first team, and had decided he wanted to become a coach. So when Carlisle United asked him to become their manager in March of that year, he retired as a player and accepted the job. Shankley went on to become Liverpool manager between 1959 and 1974, winning seven major trophies and often labelled as one of the greatest managers of all-time. On 29 September 1981, he suffered a fatal cardiac arrest, aged 68. Three days later his ashes were scattered on the Anfield pitch at the Kop end.
Warnock was born 1 December 1948 in Sheffield, Yorkshire.
Previous to his football career, Neil enjoyed a number of different occupations, most notably his time as a qualified chiropodist, and a brief stint as a costume designer for a local theatre production.
He also had and fruit-and-veg stall in Sheffield market.
Warnock started his professional playing career with Chesterfield in 1967, before moving on to Rotherham United, Hartlepool United, Scunthorpe United, Aldershot, Barnsley, York City and Crewe Alexandra, scoring 36 goals in 327 career league appearances. He retired in 1979 at just 30 to move into coaching.
Like many sportsmen and managers, Neil Warnock is highly superstitious and has revealed many bizarre rituals including stopping at all traffic lights following a win regardless of whether they're red or green, watching the Sean Bean film 'When Saturday Comes' the day before a big match, using the same razorblade, only urinating when he has held on for as long as possible and remaining in the dressing room after the players have left to play.
He is currently in his second spell as first-team manager of Premier League side Crystal Palace, having previously being managed the South London club between 2007-10.