Paul Scholes Biography

Monday18 January 2021 | 10:30
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One of the few top one-club footballers and considered by many pundits as one of the best midfielders of all time, in this article, we will take a look at Paul Scholes biography.

Paul Scholes, born on 16 November 1974 in Salford, Greater Manchester, is an English former football player and current football coach. Scholes played his entire career entirely for Manchester United, and is the player with the third-most appearances for the club, making over 700 appearances in total. He also spent his youth only at Man United.

The midfielder began his career with Manchester United in 1991 and was a member of the club's professional squad without a break from 1994 until 2011. On 31 May 2011, Scholes announced the end of his career, but made his comeback during the following season on 8 January 2012 against Manchester City in the FA Cup and finally ended his career at the end of the season in May 2013.

He won eleven

English Premier League

titles, three

FA Cup

trophies, two

League Cup

titles, as well as the

Champions League

in 1999 and 2008. For the

England national team

, he scored 14 goals in 66 international appearances between 1997 and 2004 and took part in two

World Cups

(1998, 2002) and two European Championships (2000, 2004).

With superior technical skills, great agility and passing accuracy, Scholes was considered one of the best Premier League players of his time; his physical play also made him one of the most frequently cautioned players. Off the pitch, Scholes was regarded as reserved and modest. He was often said by fellow players and coaches to have an exemplary and highly professional attitude.

All You Need to Know About Paul Scholes Biography

As said before, with over 700 matches played, he is the third most-played footballer for Manchester United, behind Ryan Giggs and Bobby Charlton. He is also famous for being, as of 2011, one of the few outfield players to have won the English Premier League in three different decades. He won a total of 23 titles with Manchester United, including two Champions League titles.

Paul Scholes Information

In this section of

Paul Scholes biography

, stay tuned as we are going to share some general information about the English legendary footballer, like

Paul Scholes nationality


Paul Scholes Bio

  • Full Name: Paul Scholes

  • Nickname: Ginger Ninja

  • Profession: Professional Footballer

Paul Scholes Physical Stats

  • Weight: 70 Kg

  • Height: 1.68 m

  • Eye Color: Blue

  • Hair Color: Red

Paul Scholes Football Information

  • Position: Midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 18, 22

  • Professional Debut: 1993

Paul Scholes Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 16 November 1974

  • Birth Place: Oldham, England

  • Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

  • Nationality: English

Stay tuned to read more about Paul Scholes biography and

Paul Scholes childhood


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Paul Scholes Early Life

Paul Scholes was born in Salford's Hope Hospital. When he was 1 year and a half old, his parents relocated to Langley, where he attended St. Mary's Primary School. His first football team was called Langley Furrow, but he made the most progress on his school team, which proved to be very competitive. He went on to attend Cardinal Langley RC High School in Middleton, where Scholes was introduced to cricket as well as football.

Scholes' football talent was discovered after he began regularly attending the football school in Oldham. Brian Kidd was employed as Manchester United's youth coach at the time and took him into the junior department, where Scholes went on to meet other talents such as Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, and Gary and Phil Neville.

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Paul Scholes signed his first training contract with "United" after leaving school in the summer of 1991. The still very small and lanky newcomer played no part in winning the FA Youth Cup in 1992, but a year later he found himself in the team that lost to Leeds United in the final.

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Paul Scholes Profile

Scholes was brought into the professional squad in 1993. However, he only made his first appearances in the first "team" at the beginning of the 1994/95 season. Three days after his debut in the League Cup against

Port Vale

, in which he scored twice in a 2-1 victory, he celebrated his debut in the Premier League against

Ipswich Town

on 24 September 1994. The match was lost 3-2 despite another goal from Scholes, but he was now a member of the Red Devils' first team.

In contrast to his later role as a creative player in central midfield, Scholes was often to be found in the centre of attack in this early period due to his goal-scoring ability. In most of his 17 league appearances in the 1994/95 season, he served as a wild card via substitutes. He finished second in both the English League (behind

Blackburn Rovers

) and the FA Cup (losing to

Everton FC

in the final). He had two good chances to equalise, especially in the 1-0 defeat against Everton after coming on as a substitute.

Consistent performances and the absence of two strikers, Éric Cantona (suspension) and Mark Hughes (move to

Chelsea FC

) saw Scholes make regular appearances alongside new signing Andy Cole in 1995/96. He scored fourteen goals in competitive matches and won his first club trophy with the "double" of the English League and FA Cup.

However, he had not yet earned a regular place and although he won the Premier League again the following year, his playing chances were limited - only three goals in 16 league games in the 1996/97 season prove this.

Winning the Triple and more successes (1997-2005)

The key to his positive sporting development from then on was that coach Alex Ferguson moved him back into midfield in the 1997/98 season after Roy Keane was forced off through injury. The season did not bring any titles, but in the following season 1998/99 the United team, with Scholes in the "switching centre", surged to great successes.

In addition to winning the English League again, he scored a goal in the victorious FA Cup final against

Newcastle United

(2:0) and particularly in the Champions League, he was an important factor in reaching the final. However, Scholes had to watch the 2-1 win against

FC Bayern Munich

in the final because he had seen his second yellow card in the semi-final second leg against

Juventus Turin

and was therefore suspended.

In the following two years, 2000 and 2001, Scholes defended the English Premier League title with United - by now the fourth and fifth titles in his collection - until the signing of Argentine international Juan Sebastián Verón brought some changes to the midfield. In order to place him in the same team as Verón, Ferguson would often play him alternatively as an attacking midfielder in a 4-4-1-1 system behind Ruud van Nistelrooy, while behind him Verón and Roy Keane would again try their hand at shaping the game in central midfield. 

In European Champions League away games, Scholes was often allowed to play in his preferred midfield position, but such rotations meant that both Scholes's form was poor and United went titleless.

Scholes returned to top form in the next season, 2002/03, scoring 20 goals in the competition, his best tally to date, and a year later - Verón had left the club in the meantime - he won his third FA Cup, scoring four goals in total. The team failed to defend the FA Cup in 2005, mainly because Jens Lehmann of

Arsenal FC

had saved his penalty kick in the penalty shoot-out.

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The second spell of success and retirement (2005-2011)

Scholes was absent from the team for almost the entire second half of the 2005-06 season. The reason for this was an eye condition that limited the vision of Scholes, who had additionally been diagnosed with asthma by the age of 21, and it seriously threatened his future career - a fear that did not prove to be true, but his eyesight remained clouded with a slight blurriness in the aftermath

After a title-less spell of three years, Scholes won the English Premier League again with United in the 2006-07 season. On 22 October 2006, in the game against

Liverpool FC

, he played his 500th competitive match for Manchester United, a feat only eight other players had achieved before him. Also worthy of mention were two suspensions in just over a month. 

He was shown the red card after a foul on Xabi Alonso in the 1-0 away win over Liverpool on 3 March 2007, and also on a quarter-final first leg against

AS Roma

. The Premier League success was the start of a run of three consecutive league titles and although Scholes was out for three months in the early stages of the 2007/08 season with cruciate ligament damage, that season brought the greatest triumph of his career.

In his 100th Champions League appearance, he held

FC Barcelona

to a 0-0 draw in the semi-final first leg and scored the only goal in the second leg to guide his club into the final. In contrast to his yellow card suspension nine years earlier, he now played in the final, but picked up an injury and was replaced by Ryan Giggs before the penalty shoot-out - where Manchester United was successful against Chelsea FC.

In August 2008, he received a yellow card for a deliberate handball in the Super Cup against Zenit St Petersburg (1-2) in the closing minutes and was sent off for two more games in 2009. He made more positive headlines when he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame and made his 600th appearance for United in the 2-0 win over St Petersburg.

Another interesting milestone for the midfielder, who won only his first two League Cup trophies in 2009 and 2010, when he reached the 100-goal mark in the Premier League on 6 March 2010 against Wolverhampton Wanderers (1-0). On 31 May 2011, Scholes ended his career for the time being.

The comeback (2012-2013)

On 7 January 2012, Scholes announced his comeback to Manchester United, taking the shirt number 22. On 8 January, he played his first competitive match against Manchester City in the FA Cup. A week later, in his first league match since the comeback, he scored the first goal in a 3-0 home win against Bolton Wanderers. In May 2012, Scholes extended his contract at Manchester United for a further year until 2013. With the league title in the 2012/13 season and 718 competitive games for United, he ended his career.

Stay tuned to read more about

Paul Scholes biography

and his England career.

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England National Team

Paul Scholes made his England debut on 24 May 1997 in a friendly against South Africa. His debut went well and he was included in the team that went to the 1998 World Cup. England was placed in a fairly weak group, facing Colombia, Romania and Tunisia. Paul Scholes scored a fine goal against Tunisia on 15 June 1998 to lift his side to a 2-0 win. After receiving a pass from Paul Ince outside the opponent's penalty box, Scholes rolled the ball just to the right and hit a powerful shot precisely into the upper right corner of the Tunisian goal.

Scholes' career continued after England's early exit from the World Cup, losing in a penalty shoot-out to Argentina. Scholes scored a hat-trick on 27 March 1999 in a European Championship 2000 qualifier against Poland and on 13 November his two goals against Scotland ensured England's place in the final stage of the tournament. 

On 5 June 1999 Paul Scholes created a kind of counter record, becoming the first and so far the only England player in history to be sent off in a match on home soil. It happened in a match against Sweden.

After the European Championship Scholes took part in the 2002 World Cup, reaching the quarter-finals with his team before losing to eventual champions Brazil. After this, his career began to decline as England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson increasingly opted for Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

In August 2004, after the 2004 European Championship, Paul Scholes announced his retirement from the national team. He was persuaded to stay, both by Eriksson himself and by new England coach Steve McClaren, but Paul was determined with his decision.

Coaching Career

In March 2014, Scholes bought Northern Premier League club

Salford City

with his former clubmates, the "Class of 92", Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, and brothers Gary and Phil Neville. Scholes has acted as CEO of the club since the purchase.

Together with Phil Neville, he managed Salford City as interim coach for one game in January 2015. After three promotions, the club has been playing in the National League, the fifth-highest English division, since the 2018/19 season.

In February 2019, Scholes took up the coaching position at fourth division club

Oldham Athletic

. To do so, he resigned as a director at Salford City but retained his club shares. Just one month later, he resigned from his coaching post again.

Following the sacking of Graham Alexander in October 2020, Scholes again took up the coaching post at Salford City on an interim basis.

Style of Play

Scholes was a complete midfielder: he had great quantity (despite suffering from asthma, an illness that required him to have an aerosol before every game) and quality; as a right-footed player, he stole balls all over the pitch and sometimes fought to the limits of regularity, but he also had great technique and vision, characteristics that allowed him to continue to be among the best playmakers in Europe even in his old age.

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On the offensive side, he had his strengths in passing and shooting from distance. The 155 goals scored in 718 games in the Manchester United shirt showed his great contribution to the team in the scoring department as well.

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Paul Scholes is regarded by many pundits and footballers as one of the best midfielders of his era. When asked about his toughest opponent, Zinedine Zidane has stated that it is Paul Scholes. He says: "Without a doubt, he is the best player of his generation.  He can do everything." Josep Guardiola said: "Of all the players at United, I would choose Scholes. He's the best midfielder of that generation. I would have loved to play with him." 

Xavi and Andres Iniesta have also admitted that they are Scholes fans, with Iniesta exchanging uniforms with Scholes after the UEFA Champions League 2010-11 final. Manchester United and England hero Bobby Charlton said of Scholes: "Paul always dominates the game with his accurate passing. He's a beautiful player to watch," and Marcello Lippi said he was "an all-round midfielder with a wealth of talent and character..."

BBC commentator and former Liverpool player Alan Hansen said: "He is one of the three or five best players I have ever seen play in the Premier League. His passing, movement and technique are a model for everyone.

Goal Celebration

As a midfielder, Paul Scholes has scored many goals for

Manchester United

during his playing career. He is amongst the footballers with a signature goal celebration, where he opened his arms wide, running to the spectators or the bench. A celebration that you have seen many times if you recall his playing days.

Paul Scholes outside Football

After agreeing to a four-year contract with BT Sport, Scholes had become a commentator in July 2014. He also would appear on ITV's broadcast of internationals from the Champions League and England. During the 2013–14 season, Scholes already appeared on the show as a commentator for Sky Sports. He decided to be a writer for The Independent in August. For his enthusiastic and no-nonsense form of punditry, Scholes has been applauded.

Paul Scholes Personal Life

In this section of Paul Scholes biography, we want to take a deeper look into his personal life, including

Paul Scholes religion


Paul Scholes life story

. Stay tuned!

Family, Children and Relationships

When they were 18 years old, Paul Scholes met his wife Claire in his local bar, and six years later, they tied the knot in February of 1999. Scholes and his wife relocated to Salford after their 3 children were born. Paul Scholes has said that one of the reasons he decided to retire from international football was that he missed his wife and children because of international commitments.

In the summer of 2020, there were rumors that the couple is experiencing some problems together and that his wife has left their marital home. However, as of now, there are no reports about whether they have divorced each other or not.


In September 2018, Scholes, along with a host of former United buddies including Clayton Blackmore, Kleberson and Brian McClair, was scheduled to play in a charity match in honor of the Wicklow Hospice Foundation to collect money to help complete the independent Hospice construction, which finished at December 2019.

Scholes also has been actively involved in many other charities, such as a 2015 UNICEF charity game, and also a 2014 game versus a Greater Manchester Police XI to collect money for the Christie and Kenya and Uganda foster homes. Stay tuned to read more about

Paul Scholes biography

and his legal issues.

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Legal Issues

Other than some disputes with the Oldham Athletic club he was once a manager of, which ended up him paying a huge sum as a fine to his former club after losing a dispute about his contract, we haven’t heard of any other legal issues to his name in media.

Paul Scholes Career Statistics

In this section of Paul Scholes biography, we will take a look at his career stats, both as a player and a manager.


Paul Scholes has spent his whole 20 years club career at Manchester United, playing 718 matches in all competitions for Red Devils, scoring 155 goals. Without a doubt, his best season for the club was 2002-03, where he managed to score 20 goals in 52 matches.

He has also played a total of 134 European matches for Man United, scoring 26 goals.

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Scholes had rather a short international career with Three Lions, where he retired from the national team at the age of 29. His international career lasts just 7 years between 1997 and 2004 where he played a total of 66 matches, scoring 14 goals for England.


Paul Scholes has a short coaching career, where he was an interim coach for Salford City on two occasions, wherein a total of 6 matches, his team has won 3, drawn 1 and lost on two occasions.

He was also the manager of Oldham Athletic for almost a month, where he was in charge of the team in 7 matches and had a poor win ratio of 14.29 %. Stay tuned to read more about Paul Scholes biography and his honors.

Paul Scholes Honors

Scholes is surely one of the most decorated English footballers of all time, having won many awards and titles on the club level with Man United, including Premier League, FA Cup, Football League Cup, UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup, among others.

Of his individual titles and awards, we can include Premier League PFA Team of the Year, English Football Hall of Fame Inductee and FWA Tribute Award.

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source: SportMob