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Paul Shaw hovered on the fringes of the Arsenal first-team at the peak of his nine-year spell at the Club. He scored twice, home and away against Southampton in 1996/97, but only ever made one start during his time at Highbury. He initially joined the Gunners as a schoolboy in 1988 but it would be six years before he turned out in a League fixture for George Graham's side. A substitute appearance against Nottingham Forest in December 1994 was his only action of that campaign for Arsenal but the forward would enjoy loans spells at Burnley, Cardiff and Peterborough in the 12 months that followed. On his return to Arsenal he featured in three games at the end of Bruce Rioch's only season in charge at Highbury. The following season he was a substitute in Pat Rice's final game as caretaker manager, a 2-0 win over Sunderland. Shaw was an unused substitute in a number of Arsène Wenger's early games as Arsenal boss and the Frenchman finally gave the striker some action in the closing stages of a home clash with Southampton. Shortly after Shaw's introduction the Saints pulled a goal back to make it 2-1 with nine minutes remaining. It forced a nervy conclusion at Highbury before Shaw grasped the opportunity presented to him. Latching onto Parlour's assist, the forward struck an 89th-minute goal to seal a victory for Arsenal which gave them a three-point lead at the top of the Premiership. But it wasn't enough to win him a first start. In the games that followed he made a further five appearances from the bench and it wasn't until March that he found himself in the starting XI. The opposition was once again Southampton, though this time Arsenal were at the Dell. Ian Wright had missed the previous game against Nottingham Forest and with Paul Merson also unavailable for the trip to the south coast it was Shaw who partnered Stephen Hughes in attack. It was his first and only start for the Gunners and he bagged a goal to mark the occasion. Nine days later he came off the bench against Liverpool but that summer he moved to Millwall, where he played over 100 games. In July 2000 he moved to Gillingham where he was a regular starter in his four-year spell with the club. Moves to Sheffield United and Rotherham followed before stints with Chesterfield and Oxford.
WHAT THE FANS SAID:
I was brought up in Maidenhead and know the Shaw family so there are quite few stories. These include when Paul was playing for the Gunners against Wimbledon and after the game Dave Bassett asked him to sign for Wimbledon - but let's just say their style did not suit Paul's own game! Finally Paul will not thank me for this one but he had a few of my clothing hand-downs when we were (very) young!Gavin Silvey, London