Andrew Alexander Cole (born 15 October 1971 in Nottingham) is a retired English footballer. Cole was one of best strikers ever to play in the Premier League but like Ian Wright, he could never bring his talents over to the international stage.
Following in the footsteps of The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, in 2000, The Cole Formerly Known As Andy announced that he wanted to be known as Andrew Cole. Like attempts to rename Divison One and the UEFA Cup, this had absolutely no affect on fans. Commentators, however, felt it necessary to always refer to him as Andrew Cole from this point onwards, with an extra pedantic emphasis on the 'Andrew.' This occurred, even when no other Coles were on the pitch, in the same way as Newcastle teammate Ruel Fox.
Cole first rose to fame when he was signed by the Messiah of Newcastle, Kevin Keegan, for a then club record fee of £1.75m. Cole scoring 12 goals in his first 12 games was the most talked about event in the history of the North East. Keegan then overshadowed this, however, by walking on the water of the Tyne and turning water into Bacardi Breezer. In Newcastle's first season in the Premier League, Cole scored a club record 41 goals in all competitions. In total he managed 68 goals in 84 games for Newcastle. Despite this, Cole was not considered a club legend, by virtue of not being Kevin Keegan.
Before retiring, Cole played for Blackburn, Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Birmingham, Sunderland, Burnley and Forest, scoring 229 goals in 499 games. Keegan, by contrast, had thrown away a 12 point lead in the League, spent an unsuccesful stint at Fulham, lost the last ever England game at Wembley to Germany and thrown his toys out the pram during his second spell as Christ at St. James' park.
Andy is undoubtedly the fifth best international footballer of all time with the surname Cole: sitting behind Ashley Cole (no relation), Joe Cole (no relation), Carlton Cole (no relation) and Old King Cole (of Biblical fame - no relation).
Cole's prodigious scoring talent in the Premier League never transfered into his England performances and in 15 caps he only managed 1 goal - against Albania. Cole also scored in an England B international, whatever that means.
Staunch believer in reincarnation Glenn Hoddle justified not selecting Cole for the World Cup in 1998 by claiming he needed 6 or 7 chances to score one goal. Presumably this is because, in a previous life, Cole murdered prostitutes and feasted on their flesh.
After not being selected for the 2002 World Cup squad, Cole rather self-righteously chose to retire from international football to focus on his club career.
In 1999, Cole released a single, "Outstanding", a cover of the 1982 Gap Band song of the same name. Considering some of the shite that got in the Top 10 in the 90's, the fact Cole's single peaked below the UK Top 40 says it all. By comparison, John Barnes' performance in "World In Motion" sounds like a classic moment in R&B history.