Matt Le Tissier is widely regarded as Southampton F.C.’s most talented player ever. He achieved iconic status amongst Saints supporters, partly because of his prodigious talent and partly because he spent his entire career at Southampton, despite interest from bigger clubs. He was rewarded with the nickname ‘Le God’.

Le Tissier, who was born in Guernsey in 1968, made his debut against Norwich in 1986 and won the Young Player of the Year award in 1990. In his sixteen years at Southampton– he retired from professional football in 2002 - he played 443 times for the club. He was an attacking right-sided midfielder with mesmerizing dribbling ability and an eye for goals. He scored 162 times for the club, a total bettered only by striker Mick Channon, and he was the first midfielder to score 100 goals in the Premiership. He was particularly adept at scoring penalties, converting 47 out of 48 spot kicks. His best season in terms of goals scored was 1994-95 when he netted 30 times.

He was controversially overlooked by successive England managers, most perplexingly by Glen Hoddle in 1998 after he had scored a hat-trick in an England ‘B’ match. His omission from World Cup and European Championship squads is all the more surprising, given his prowess at penalty kicks and England’s famous inability to win penalty shoot outs. He played only eight times for England, but failed to score for them.

Fittingly, he scored the last goal in a competitive match at the Dell - against Arsenal in May 2001. This was also his last goal for the club. He retired at the end of the 2001-02 season, his last match being against West Ham in January 2002.

Le Tissier, Matthew

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Further reading:

Taking Le Tiss, by Matthew le Tissier. (HS/r)
Southampton’s Cult Heroes, by Jeremy Wilson, p188-201. (HS/r)


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