The man who aged like a fine wine.
From Premier League golden boot winner at Sunderland to golden oldie at Crystal Palace Phillips scored a lot of goals for a lot of clubs. In fact, he played for ten clubs in total, five of which were in the Premier League. His first spell in the Premier League came in the 1999/2000 season after winning promotion with Sunderland. In his first season in the top flight he scored a remarkable 30 league goals in 36 games and won not only the Premier League Golden Boot but also the European Golden Shoe. He remains the last English player to achieve this feat to this day.
Following Sunderland’s relegation from the Premier League in 2003, Phillips signed for Southampton where he managed double figures in both his seasons before moving to Aston Villa in 2006. However, this was to be the last time Phillips would reach double figures in the Premier League. He would make the short move directly to city rivals Birmingham and then left the top tier in 2011. He scored six goals in 14 Championship games to help get Crystal Palace promoted via the play-offs to get one last crack at the Premier League aged 39. The most vital of these being the extra-time penalty he netted in the final itself. He didn’t manage to get himself one last Premier League goal in the 24th year of his career, something that surely he can not be begrudged for.
In total Phillips managed 92 goals in 263 Premier League games. He was relatively late to arrive in the Premier League, making his debut aged 26 which may be why he was so keen to squeeze out every once of his career, finally retiring aged 41 after a brief spell with Leicester in the Championship. He always managed to score goals and the sheer longevity of his career help to make him a Premier League cult hero. He also managed eight England appearances although he didn’t manage to score for his country.