What you see with Paul Merson is what you get. He is a full-on, hugely entertaining character who is larger than life and always brimming over with enthusiasm and energy. The same could have been said of him as a gifted footballer in an eventful career that saw him capped 21 times by England while playing in the Premier League for Arsenal, Middlesbrough and Aston Villa.

A versatile player equally at home going for goal or as a midfield playmaker, Paul also played in the Football League with Brentford and Portsmouth before two years as player-manager of Walsall and brief non-League experience with Tamworth and Welshpool.

Once a constant companion of controversy, Paul has never made a secret of the days when he was leading a reckless lifestyle off the pitch. He is now a popular and outspoken football pundit with Sky Sports who shoots from the lip with opinions that are sometimes brutal but always honest.

A fascinating and always compelling character, Paul has an armoury of amusing anecdotes.