For some players, the final whistle heralds the beginning of an infinitely more difficult chapter in their lives. Some simply find it impossible to cope, replacing one addiction with another. Not well known is the story of Paul Vaessen, perhaps the most powerful and tragic tale of them all. Paul was the Bermondsey boy who rose from working-class roots to overnight fame in Turin when in April 1980, as an unknown 18-year-old, he scored one of the most dramatic goals in Arsenal's distinguished history. But all too soon Paul would discover how fragile and fickle the world of football could be as he experienced unforgiving injuries, loss of form and merciless barracking by his own fans. Just three years down the line, he was on the scrapheap, discarded by the game he'd devoted his young life to, and descending quickly into the only other world he knew, that of drugs. Paul would spend his lonely final days reliving his moment of glory with anybody willing to listen, that one moment in which he had effectively become stuck.
AUTHOR: Stewart Taylor's published work dates back to 2000 when he contributed to Arsenal: Memories and Marble Halls (David Sims). He has since written for fanzines, for the official Arsenal magazine and Backpass. In August 2014, Stuck in a Moment: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen was published. The book was longlisted that year for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award and shortlisted at the British Sports Book Awards the following year.