Black History Month

Black History Month Heroes: Andrew Cole

4 Oct 2021
Black History Month - Andrew Cole

Newcastle and Man Utd star is one of the most prolific strikers in Premier League history

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During Black History Month, we are celebrating the contribution players of African and Caribbean descent have made to the Premier League in each of the last 30 seasons.

1994/95 - Andrew Cole

When discussion turns to the greatest Premier League strikers, Andrew Cole is a name that is never far away from the conversation.

Starting his career at Arsenal, Cole made his name at Newcastle United and then Manchester United where he became one of the competition's most prolific forwards.

In his debut season at Newcastle the Nottingham-born player scored 34 goals to earn the 1993/94 Golden Boot.

To this day that tally remains the highest for a 42-match Premier League campaign.

None of Cole's goals that season were scored via the penalty spot, making it a record for non-penalty goals in a Premier League campaign.

His goalscoring ability earned him a controversial move to Man Utd in January 1995 - a sale that enraged Newcastle fans and which forced manager Kevin Keegan to explain the decision to hordes of dissatisfied supporters on the steps of St James' Park.

Cole went on to make history only two months later, becoming the first player to score five times in a Premier League match when his new club claimed a 9-0 victory over Ipswich Town.

Cole played an integral role in the treble-winning season of 1998/99, as his partnership with Dwight Yorke helped Man Utd to dominate domestically and in Europe.

His goal against Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of that season helped Sir Alex Ferguson's side regain the title, as he netted 24 times in all competitions.

After eight seasons and five Premier League titles with United, Cole left in 2001 to join Blackburn Rovers.

In the years that followed, he would also go on to feature for Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth and Sunderland, before announcing his retirement in 2008.

Only Alan Shearer (260), Wayne Rooney (208) and Harry Kane (189) have beaten Cole's total of 187 Premier League goals.

 Challenging time

In 2015, Cole was told he had kidney disease, a diagnosis he revealed turned his life on its head. 

His life was saved when his nephew, Alexander Palmer, donated a kidney for a transplant in April 2017.

Cole later spoke about the impact of the disease on "Inside Matters", a series of interviews with stars about the mental challenges they have faced.

"The past five years have possibly been the toughest five years of my life," he said. "To go down with kidney failure and try to understand how an individual being so fit for the majority of his life can go down with such a disease."

And to help others who are living with kidney disease, he has set up the Andy Cole Fund for Kidney Research UK.

See: Black History Month: Honouring Premier League icons


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