As a youngster, the future Liverpool and England winger never tired of watching this midfield maestro in full flow.
Having grown up in Jamaica until the age of 14, John Barnes admits he was a late starter in terms of having a Three Lions idol.
“I didn’t really know any England players until I moved to this country. My football hero as a lad was in fact a German!” confesses the former Watford and Liverpool ace who won 79 caps for England between 1983 and 1995.
“My dad had gone to Germany and he got me some beautiful adidas Gerd Muller boots, which I loved. And when the Germans won the 1974 World Cup I idolised Wolfgang Overath. He was a left-footed midfielder like me, a wonderful player.”
It wasn’t until the promising young winger moved to England’s South East to start his footballing career with Watford that he began to appreciate English players.
“Once I moved I realised what a lot of talent there was here. The one I admired most was Glenn Hoddle, because of the way he played. I remember one of the first times he caught my eye was when he scored a stunning goal for Spurs. He played a one-two and then volleyed it from a horizontal position. It was incredible.
“Glenn had truly wonderful technique: he could pass with his left or right foot, his anticipation of the ball and the space around him was exceptional, so he always had time and looked relaxed on the pitch.
He wasn’t your typical English midfielder. At that time, being a midfielder was all about effort and commitment – although he put that in, too!
“Eventually getting to play with Glenn for England confirmed how good a player he was. He had great vision, great awareness. We used to marvel at him in training – his balance, his ability to correct the ball. He could do anything with a football.”