There is not a lot of Arsenal news around during the international break, but we should take a little time to welcome back a former “King of Highbury”, Liam Brady. He left our very successful academy set-up a few years ago, but he is now being brought back as an ambassador for the club, which is befitting for one of our greatest ever players.
He made his debut for the Gunners way back in 1973, and he still remembers his first game. “I remember it pretty clearly,” he said on Arsenal.com. “I was a sub. In those days there was only one sub per team and for me as a 17-year-old, to get on the subs bench was very, very exciting.
“You’re just hoping that you can get on at some stage. It happened very quickly. Jeff Blockley, our centre back, got injured after 10 minutes and then I was on. I played nearly all of the game.
“I played very, very well and I got a great reception from the Arsenal fans as we beat Birmingham City 1-0. It was a great start for me in my professional career in the first team.”
But one of his favourite landmarks for the club was his memory of a brilliant 5-0 win over Tottenham Hotspurs at White Hart Lane when he scored an unstoppable goal. “It was a red-letter day in Arsenal history to be able to beat Spurs 5-0 at White Hart Lane, at Christmas time as well,” he said. “There was a great atmosphere at the stadium and it was a great Christmas present for the Arsenal fans.
“We were so good on the day, so sharp and Alan Sunderland was electric because he scored three goals. We had a team who were playing at their absolute peak and I think my goal was the icing on the cake for the victory.
“I managed to tackle Peter Taylor and something that I’d practiced for years was to shoot with the outside of my foot from the outside of the box. As soon as I hit it I knew it was a goal. It was great to go behind the goal and celebrate with the Arsenal fans.”
For us older fans he was one of the great heros of his time, and he will be most welcome back as an inspiration to our youngsters, and he may even help in teaching Thierry Henry in his coaching of the U18 squad, where he was himself in charge until just three years ago.
Who has a favourite memory of the great Liam Brady’s time at Arsenal?