The BBC's Barry Davies said on the commentary, "What a penalty! What a great penalty!" It was not a great penalty; it was a shite penalty but the goalkeeper had gone the wrong way.
The penalty in question was against Germany in the 1996 European Championship, and the blunt assessor of its merit was the penalty-taker--international stalwart and sometime England captain Stuart Pearce. Since 1990, when he missed a penalty that ushered in England's exit from the World Cup, Pearce and spot-kick calamity had been inextricably linked in the public's mind. England's battling left-back had buried that hoodoo in spectacularly emotional fashion against Spain in the previous round, and it's typical of this diffident, self-possessed player that one match later he was dismissing the plaudits.
Backbone of the defence and a regular in the line for the treatment table--from his days as a part-time electrician playing for non-league Wealdstone to his Indian summer in the Premiership with current club West Ham--Pearce's career has been a sustained battle to overcome the limitations of his body and blunt the more extravagant abilities of the flair players who lay siege to his goal week in, week out.
In a story of extraordinary achievement--and equally conspicuous misfortune and failure--as both player and manager, Pearce recalls the legends and also-rans he has met along the way, offering no-nonsense portraits of the likes of Brian Clough, Glenn Hoddle and Rudd Gullit, and an insider's take on the realities of the professional game. The fans who have cherished his do-or-die on pitch heroics may find Pearce's real-world motivations surprising.
Psycho is an entertaining, revealing portrait of an English sporting icon--with Pearce on his love of punk music, his short-lived career as a juvenile delinquent and tales of a hen called Chicken Kiev, as an added bonus.--Alex Hankin
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Psycho was no.6 in the Observer and no.7 in the Daily and Sunday Telegraph bestseller lists
Rightly a big seller because the former England captain has had a long and varied career and has always displayed a nice line in dry humour (David Lacey, Guardian
Unputdownable ... Pearce's honesty shines through (Sarah Edworthy, Daily Telegraph
Typically honest (Stephen Moss, Guardian