Paul Hawksbee on playing with Sheringham, watching Maradona, the Old Firm atmosphere and his favourite Tottenham kit

If you’ve been with talkSPORT since the station’s inception in 2000, you’re going to have some memories to show for it.

And in Paul Hawksbee’s case, he’s also a Tottenham fan, which certainly isn’t dull either.

TALKSPORT Paul Hawksbee - Paul Hawksbee on playing with Sheringham, watching Maradona, the Old Firm atmosphere and his favourite Tottenham kit
TALKSPORT-Paul-Hawksbee

The 57-year-old, who co-hosts the Hawksbee and Jacobs show with Andy Jacobs, joined talkSPORT.com for the latest instalment of our ‘My Greatest’ series.


Greatest player – Diego Maradona

I know that is a fairly contentious point after what happened at Mexico ’86, with the ‘Hand of God’ and all that. But put it in the context of his career and what he achieved as a player, especially at Napoli, and for Argentina.

A couple of months before the ‘Hand of God’, I got to watch him play in Ossie Ardiles’ testimonial with Glenn Hoddle at White Hart Lane, and he was amazing, just to watch him play in the flesh. Even at testimonial pace, he was something else. So all things considered, I would say Maradona.

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Maradona is widely considered one of the greatest footballers of all time
Getty – Contributor

Greatest game – Euro ’96 semi-final at Wembley

It was an incredible rollercoaster of a match. It felt a real honour to be there. It was quite amazing, with everyone signing ‘Football’s Coming Home’. Those little moments when Gazza nearly put the ball in at the back post, the chances we had to win it when it was Golden Goal.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt as deflated as that. I certainly didn’t when we went out to Croatia last year. It was a crushing moment because you thought we could go all the way.

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Gareth Southgate missed the crucial penalty as England went crashing out
Getty Images – Getty

Greatest moment – A pass to Teddy Sheringham

I got to play in a Spurs Old Boys game at Orient’s ground and it was a pretty strong side. I was playing at the back with Paul Miller, Stuart Nethercott and Justin Edinburgh.

There was a little moment in the game where I came out from defence and the ball came towards me. It was the last game of the season, so it wasn’t a great pitch, the ball was bobbling all over the place.

I suddenly looked up and 25 yards in front of me, on the other side of the semi-circle, is Teddy Sheringham gesturing that he wants the ball to feet. I’m thinking, ‘On this pitch, with my very poor level of skill, I’m going to make a fool of myself’. I’m just thinking, ‘Get your head over it, neat and tidy, just a sidefoot, don’t be clever, just get it to him’.

Somehow I managed to do it, so it’s probably my greatest achievement in a fairly mediocre Sunday League career.

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Paul played alongside his hero Teddy Sheringham in a charity match
Hulton Archive – Getty

Greatest atmosphere – Old Firm derby

I’ve been lucky through this job to go to an awful lot of big derbies around the world, but nothing touched an Old Firm derby for me. If you ever get the chance, go!

It is something else in terms of atmosphere. This was 1993, the atmosphere was just white hot. Ally McCoist scored, it was a strong Rangers team, but Celtic found a way and managed to win 2-1. I’ll never forget the noise levels.

Beyond that, Anfield comes pretty close when it’s rocking.

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Nothing beats the atmosphere at an Old Firm derby, according to Paul
Getty Images – Getty

Greatest kit – Retro Spurs jersey

My favourite kit is the one I remember Spurs wearing when I was a kid.

This was an era when the teams weren’t massively into merchandising. It was just a plain-white shirt, long sleeves, quite heavy duty, cotton shirt.

You’d never see players wearing them now. And it just had the little cockerel on it.

Spurs have messed with the badge over the years but they’ve come back to that cockerel standing on a ball.

It was a perfect, plain, classic kit. I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes shirts and that’s the one I always come back to.

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Steve Perryman in the classic Spurs kit of the late sixties/early seventies
Hulton Archive – Getty

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action. We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever.

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Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week

  • Norwich vs Chelsea (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Derby vs West Brom (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Sheffield United vs Leicester (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Liverpool vs Arsenal (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Swansea vs Birmingham (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2

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