The TNS Top 50 All time Latics players: #34 – Paul Scharner

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Anyone for an Austrian barmpot? Go on then!

They say there’s no characters in football any more, well the mad Austrian is the exception to that particular rule.

Incidentally, when he heard what his position was Paul immediately demanded that he should be further up…..

Equally at home at centre half or as an attacking midfielder, it’s fair to say that Scharner was capable of chipping in with a good few goals, had exceptional aerial ability and a flamboyant edge to his game with his mad hair and Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Bruno” style manner.

He also had his own personal website with shots of him bungee jumping and playing a double bass and wearing garish outfits that Elton John would describe as “a bit much”. Here was a player who knew his mind and spoke his mind but also became an integral part of the club over several years and stood out like a fluorescent penguin against a sea of vanilla white polar bears.

Despite making the supposedly forward step to West Brom, his stock still remains high with Wigan Athletic fans who voted him 34th in our greatest ever player poll.

Over to Bernard for his career stats:

Paul was signed by Paul Jewell on 22nd December 2005 from Brann Bergen for an undisclosed fee, rumoured to be around the £2.5 million mark. Sources at his former club did confirm that the fee was the largest they had ever received for a player and was strongly rumoured to be around the three 3,750,000 euros mark. The Austrian international was eligible to play for the club from January 1st 2006 following his signing which was completed before the January transfer window opened. However, international clearance only arrived on 10th January 2006. On that day he became an instant Latics legend when he scored the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Arsenal in a League Cup Semi Final, first leg encounter at the JJB Stadium. He had entered the field of play as a 33rd minute substitute for Lee McCulloch. His Latics League debut was on 15th January 2006 against West Bromwich Albion at the JJB Stadium, a game that the Blues lost 0-1.

He proved to be a real asset to the club throughout the season, being played in a variety of positions. In total he has made 13+2 Premiership appearances for Latics, scoring 2 Premiership goals. He also played in Latics’ first ever major Cup Final, a 0-4 defeat against Manchester United at the Millennium Stadium in the final of the Carling Cup. He also has the distinction of scoring in the last Premiership game ever played at Highbury.

By the end of season 2007/08 he was the holder of the record of the player with the most Latics Premiership appearances with 73+5 Premiership appearances to his name, scoring 10 Premiership goals in the process. He also won the Player Of The Year Award for the Premiership campaign and, after speculation about a move to Aston Villa, he signed a new, improved two-year contract on 1st August 2008 and as at the end of season 2009/10 had made 130+15 Premier League appearances for the club, scoring 14 goals. He left the club in July 2010 as the player with the most top flight appearances (145 including substitute appearances) to his name and signed for West Bromwich Albion on 30th August 2010.



34. Paul Scharner

35. Harry Lyon

36. Roy Tunks

37. Gary Teale

38. Eamon O’Keeffe

39. Joe Hinnigan

40. Ian Kilford

41. Hugo Rodallega

42. James McCarthy

43. Mickey Worswick

44. Noel Ward

45. Simon Haworth

46. Gary Caldwell

47. Mike Pollitt

48. Bert Llewellyn

49. Bryan Griffiths

50. = Graham Barrow

50. = Maynor Figueroa

50. = Paul Jewell

50. = Graham Kavanagh

50. = Henri Camara

50. = Lee Cattermole




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