Tony Cascarino

Tony Cascarino

Cascarino in 1986
Personal information
Full name Anthony Guy Cascarino
Date of birth (1962-09-01) 1 September 1962
Place of birth St Paul's Cray, Kent, England
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1981 Crockenhill
1981–1987 Gillingham 219 (78)
1987–1990 Millwall 105 (42)
1990–1991 Aston Villa 46 (11)
1991–1992 Celtic 24 (4)
1992–1994 Chelsea 40 (8)
1994–1997 Marseille 84 (61)
1997–2000 Nancy 109 (44)
2000 Red Star 93 2 (0)
Total 629 (248)
National team
1985–1999[1] Republic of Ireland 88 (19)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Anthony Guy "Tony" Cascarino (born 1 September 1962 in St Paul's Cray, Orpington, Kent, England) is a former footballer who played as a forward for various British and French clubs and internationally for the Republic of Ireland national team, with whom he competed in UEFA Euro 1988 and two World Cups in 1990 and 1994.

Since retirement, he has presented on TalkSPORT radio and written for both The Times and Ireland's Hot Press magazine. He has worked for both Sky Sports in England and TV3 and Today FM in Ireland. He was a winning participant in the fourth season of the Celebrity Bainisteoir reality television series.


Club career

In their three seasons together at Millwall, Cascarino and Teddy Sheringham scored 99 goals between them.[2]

Cascarino joined Gillingham in 1982 from Crockenhill, and according to Cascarino Gillingham donated tracksuits and training equipment to Crockenhill in lieu of a transfer fee.[3] He went on to play for Millwall - the club he supported as a boy. Millwall had missed an opportunity to sign Cascarino as a youngster and subsequently paid The Gills £225,000 to secure his services.[4] He went on to play for Aston Villa - where he was the club's record signing at £1.1 million in early 1990, Celtic and Chelsea, playing in the 1994 FA Cup Final for the latter but finishing on the losing side.

However, his most successful years were with Olympique de Marseille and Nancy in the French Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, having moved from England in 1994. A testament to his transformation while in French football, Cascarino was known by the nickname "Tony Goal" throughout France.

He retired from playing at the end of the 1999-2000 season, in his 38th year.

International career

Cascarino was born in England but represented the Republic of Ireland, qualifying through his adopted Irish grandfather, Michael O'Malley, from Westport, County Mayo.

He scored nineteen goals in eighty-eight international appearances, and he was for a time Ireland's record caps holder. His aerial prowess fitted well with the long ball style of the team. Cascarino was an integral part of the teams that took part in the European Championship in 1988 and World Cup in 1990 and 1994. In the latter competition, given the injury to Niall Quinn, Cascarino was expected to lead the Irish attack, but suffered an injury in the approach to the games and was only able to manage a late cameo performance in the defeat against the Netherlands.

His last international game came against Turkey in late 1999, as Ireland failed to reach UEFA Euro 2000. He got into a brawl with a Turkish defender and left the pitch showing the scars of battle. This marked the end of an international career which had spanned 14 years at the highest level.[5]

Irish citizenship controversy

In October 2000, Cascarino was the subject of national newspaper headlines when extracts from his upcoming autobiography were published in the Sunday Mirror.[6] In it, he revealed that his mother told him in 1996 that she was adopted and therefore no blood relative to his Irish grandfather. Cascarino said in his autobiography: "I didn't qualify for Ireland. I was a fraud. A fake Irishman". The FAI's Chief Executive Bernard O'Byrne stated that he was shocked by the announcement and Cascarino's former international manager Jack Charlton questioned why he came forward with the information. Cascarino revealed that Republic of Ireland team mate Andy Townsend had advised him to keep quiet about the situation.[6]

Four days after the newspaper exclusive, in November 2000, the Football Association of Ireland issued a short statement: "The FAI are satisfied that Tony Cascarino was always eligible to become a citizen of the Republic of Ireland and was, therefore, always eligible to play for Ireland."[7] The Irish Independent reported that Cascarino was given a 'passport of restricted validity' in 1985 and that his mother's name, Theresa O'Malley, was in fact entered in the Foreign Births Register in the Department of Foreign Affairs prior to Cascarino's international debut for the Republic of Ireland.[8][9]


Since retiring from football, Cascarino has become a semi-professional poker player, having appeared in the television series Celebrity Poker Club and commentating on the PartyPoker Poker Den. He has become something of a cult figure and was referenced in the song "All Your Kayfabe Friends" by Welsh band Los Campesinos! where the singer tells that "You asked if I'd be anyone from history / Fact or fiction, dead or alive / I said I'd be Tony Cascarino, circa 1995."[10]

In December 2008 Cascarino was arrested for allegedly assaulting and threatening to kill his wife, French-born Virginie, who is the mother of two of his children. Cascarino divorced his previous wife, mother of two other children Michael and Teddy, after impregnating Virginie.[11]

Cascarino joined talkSPORT as a pundit in 2002 and from 2004 he presented the afternoon Drive Time show with Patrick Kinghorn. He was involved in an on-air bust-up with Kinghorn after the latter remarked that the married Cascarino had been "chasing that 21-year-old around the office", which prompted Cascarino to lunge at Kinghorn and punch him. They pair had to be pulled apart by production staff.[12] Cascarino left the station in 2005 although still sometimes returns as a guest pundit.[13]

In 2011, he was a winning participant in the Celebrity Bainisteoir reality series. Managing Killeshin GAA Club of County Laois, Cascarino's club won the season 4 competition,[14] beating Paul Gogarty's Oughterard team after extra-time in the final.[15][16]


Cascarino produced an autobiography in 2000, Full Time: The Secret Life of Tony Cascarino,[17] which received great critical acclaim.[18]

The book detailed his love of gambling, particularly playing all forms of poker, and revealed that his career had been blighted by crippling self-doubt, which he summarised as the "little voice".[19] The book also candidly refers to his shame over his infidelities[20] and of leaving his wife, Sarah and two sons, Michael and Teddy (who was named after Cascarino's former Millwall team-mate Teddy Sheringham) and muses: "...maybe, just maybe, I was so wrapped up in my newfound celebrity that I'd become immune to the suffering I was causing".

He also revealed that during his time at Marseille, he and many other of the club's players were injected by club president Bernard Tapie's personal physician with an unknown substance. The physiotherapist at the time insisted the substance was legal and would provide an "adrenaline boost". Cascarino claimed that most players accepted the injections[21] and that "it definitely made a difference: I felt sharper, more energetic, hungrier for the ball". He also later admitted suffering from depression.




  1. "Anthony Guy "Tony" Cascarino - Goals in International Matches". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  2. "Top Goal Scorers". Millwall History. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  3. Bandini, Paolo (11 May 2007). "Small Talk: Tony Cascarino". London: Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2008.
  5. Leahy, Ed (10 November 2011). "Ireland's chequered play-off history". RTÉ Sport. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  6. 1 2 "TONY'S OWN GOAL; I Did Not Qualify for Ireland. I Was Just a Fraud, a Fake Irishman". Sunday Mirror. 30 October 2000. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  7. "FAI: OUR TONY IS NOT A FRAUD; Cas always eligible.". The Mirror   via Highbeam (subscription required) . 3 November 2000. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  8. Corcoran, Jody (24 November 2000). "Revealed: New twist in Cascarino row". Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  9. "Cas mother was Irish but didn't realise.(News)". The Mirror. 6 November 2000. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  10. "All Your Kayfabe Friends lyrics - Los Campesinos!". Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  11. Tony Cascarino 'beat his wife'
  12. Cascarino's on-air punch-up, Brazil's off-air p*ss-ups and Rodney Marsh's depression: 10 true Talksport tales
  13. talkSPORT's Tony Cascarino Parts Company with Station
  14. "RTÉ's Celebrity Bainisteoirs announced" Archived 17 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. RTÉ Ten. 15 July 2011.
  15. "Cascarino wins Celebrity Bainisteoir". RTÉ Ten. 7 November 2011.
  16. Butler, Laura. "Soccer star Tony wins Celeb Bainisteoir title". Evening Herald. 7 November 2011.
  17. Full Time: The Secret Life of Tony Cascarino. Simon & Schuster/TownHouse. 2000.
  18. "Books of the Year: The reading list". The Guardian. London. 18 December 2000. Retrieved 6 November 2007.
  19. Full Time: The Secret Life of Tony Cascarino. p. 22.
  20. Full Time: The Secret Life of Tony Cascarino. Destiny (Part 2): The territory of Lies. p. 165.
  21. Full Time: The Secret Life of Tony Cascarino. Destiny (Part 1). p. 152.

External links

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