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Kevin Phillips




Kevin Phillips became only the third player to hit 30 goals in a Premiership season in May, joining the striking elite of Alan Shearer and Andy Cole.

His achievement is made all the more remarkable by the fact that the 1999-2000 season was his first in the top flight, and he is now seen by many as the natural successor to Shearer as England number nine.

Phillips failed to make the grade at his first club, Southampton, and was signed by Watford manager Graham Taylor while playing for non-league Baldock Town.

While at Vicarage Road, he recovered from a career-threatening injury to confirm his talents as a goalscorer, and was snapped up by Sunderland in 1997.

Phillips grabbed 35 goals in his first season on Wearside, and scored another 25 as Sunderland won the Division One title in 1998-99.

He made his England debut last April against Hungary, and was included in Kevin Keegan's squad for the crucial Euro 2000 play-offs with Scotland.



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