Paul Merson is a new kid on the block as far as after-dinner speaking is concerned. Whereas most soccer speakers on the circuit regale the audience with retrospective anecdotes, Paul is current. Younger members of the crowd can associate more easily with his laid back approach. Here is a man who has truly confronted his demons and is not afraid to discuss them openly. He is a joy to listen to and can captivate any audience with the story of his amazing journey.

Born in London, Paul Merson started his football career at Arsenal in 1984, joining the club as an apprentice. He made his 1st team debut for Arsenal on November 22, 1986 and by the 1988-89 season was a regular on the right wing making his debut for the England U21 side, and was voted PFA Young Player of the Year.

At the end of the 1996-97 Premiership campaign, Paul was sold to relegated Middlesbrough in a £5 million deal - making him the most expensive player ever signed by a non-Premiership club. Paul was a highly influential player for Middlesbrough, securing promotion success as Division One runners-up in 1997-98.

In the autumn of 1998, Paul was sold to Aston Villa for £6.75 million. He quickly established himself as a fans favourite due to his creative, flamboyant brand of football. He remained at Aston Villa for nearly five years, helping them reach the 2000 FA Cup final, before he was finally given a free transfer at the end of the 2001-02 season. Paul signed for Division One club Portsmouth, and was instrumental in the club's promotion to the Premiership in 2002-03.

Wanting to move closer to his home in Sutton Coldfield, Paul decided to leave Portsmouth and was snapped up by Division One side Walsall in summer 2003. Paul was subsequently offered the manager's spot at Walsall leading a gallant but unsuccessful bid to retain Division One status, eventually being relegated on the final day of the season.

Paul has since decided to forge a career as a media pundit, appearing frequently on Sky Sports's Gillette Soccer Saturday. Paul is now extremely popular as an after dinner speaker enlightening everyone with his hilarious, sad, interesting anecdotes from a glittering rollercoatser career at the top of football. He has played with and against many of the worlds top footballers. Don't delay, book Paul NOW, you will not be disappointed!

Played 425 times for Arsenal, scoring 99 goals.
Played 48 times Middlesborough, scoring 12 goals.
Played 117 times for Aston Villa, scoring 18 goals.
Played 45 times for Portsmouth, scoring12 goals.
Played 77 times for Walsall, scoring 6 goals.

Roger Stephens, Secretary, Five Roads Sporting Association (Oct 2008)

"Just a few lines to thankyou for the marvellous job Paul Merson did at our sportsmans dinner at the Stadium of Light. I recieved an awful lot of positive comments from the 250 guests we had for the evening, everyone of them good. I would recommend Paul all day long and would say that he and Jan Molby are the two best speakers i have had the pleasure of spending a sportsmans dinner night with. Paul was full of very funny tales about himself and many others and had the audience in laughter from start to finish. Once again many thanks for a great night."

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