An Audience With

Paul Merson

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Monday 3 rd September 2018

PizzaExpress Live (Holborn)

Paul takes the audience through the highs and lows of a 21-year playing career, which saw him represent England 21 times and make nearly 600 professional appearances. Known for his unpredictable flair on the pitch, Merson now entertains football fans on Sky’s Soccer Saturday show, on which his pronunciation of players’ names and his rapport with fellow panel members helps make the show so popular with football fans.

Two years after starting his Arsenal career as an apprentice in 1984, Paul made his debut for the Gunners against Manchester City and went on to become a key part of George Graham’s successful side during the late 1980’s. His impressive performances resulted in Merson being named PFA Young Player of the Year in 1989.

During his 425 Arsenal appearances, Paul played a key part in the club’s success; winning the Football League Championship twice, the FA Cup, the Football League Cup, and the European Cup Winners' Cup. He made his England debut against Germany in September 1991 and went on to be named as part of the squads for the 1992 European Championships and 1998 World Cup.

Despite his on-field success, the Football Association arranged for Paul to undergo a three-month rehabilitation programme in November 1994, after he admitted to being an alcoholic and cocaine addict. He went on to return to the Arsenal side in February 1995. He remained a regular first-team player under Arsenal’s new manager Bruce Rioch and continued to play an important role in 1996-97 following the appointment of Arsène Wenger. His time as an Arsenal player came to an end after scoring 99 goals over a 15 year stay at the club.

A £5m move to Middlesbrough at the end of the 1996-97 campaign made him the most expensive player ever to be signed by a non-Premiership club. Despite making under 50 appearances on Teesside, the nickname of ‘Magic Man’ was given to him as he helped guide the club back into the top-flight whilst earning the distinction of being the only player in England’s 1998 World Cup squad not to play for a Premiership club.

In the autumn of 1998, Paul was sold to Aston Villa for £6.75m. He quickly established himself as a fan’s favourite due to his creative and flamboyant brand of football. He remained at the club for nearly five years, helping them reach the 2000 FA Cup Final. At the end of the 2001-02 season he signed for Division One Club Portsmouth, and was instrumental in the club’s promotion to the Premiership in 2002-03 under manager Harry Redknapp.

In 2004, Paul turned his hand to management with Walsall before focusing on a career in the media and becoming an integral member of the much-loved Soccer Saturday panel.

Twitter @paulmerse