History – The legendary Liam Brady who left Arsenal too early after 4 Cup Finals

Liam Brady- the midfielder who left too early after guiding Arsenal to four Cup finals

In 1956 Arsenal’s beloved midfielder Liam Brady who assisted the Gunners to victory in the 1979 FA Cup was born in Dublin.

Brady started his playing days at Arsenal, packing his case for London to join the team on schoolboy terms in 1971 whilst only 15. Within two years he received perhaps the biggest present of his life, on his 17th Birthday he signed a professional contract at Arsenal, he would then go on to make his debut in 1973 versus Birmingham City with pant wetting excitement jumping off the bench for Jeff Blockley to put in a top display.

He struggled to replicate his form in his next game against Tottenham Hotspur in the North London Derby when all eyes were on the youngster, which led to manager Bertie Mee not making the most of him for the rest of the season. Brady completed the 1973/74 season having made 13 appearances coming on as substitute on four occasions. During his twilight years at Arsenal Brady was nicknamed “Chippy” by the fans due to his love for fish and chips hysterically.

During the 1974/75 season Brady cemented his place in the first team and stood out for the first time when Arsenal was fighting relegation. After the hiring of Terry Neil and Don Howe as coach, Brady discovered his flare. His passing supplied great firing opportunities for Arsenal’s main goalscoring machines for instance Malcolm Macdonald and Frank Stapleton, witnessing The Gunners appear in three FA Cup finals from 1978-1980. However Arsenal only found victory in one of those finals being in 1979, witnessing Brady provide Alan Sunderland with the manoeuvre which saw him win Arsenal the FA Cup 3-2 over Manchester United in the final minute of the game.

By this moment in his career Brady had generated his best Arsenal form which was highlighted in one of his most infamous strikes, after losing Peter Taylor he sent a curler of a shot from the outskirts of the edge of the penalty box into the top bins. This feat occired during a 5-0 demolition against arch rivals Tottenham in 1978. This period in his career witnessed Brady praised for Arsenal’s players of the year for three consecutive seasons. He was also selected for the PFA Players Player of the Year in 1979, as an Irishmen Brady became the first ever foreigner to secure the accolade.  Brady was in command of a side that were gunning for glory mounting challenges on the First Division, however there was great speculation that Brady would depart Arsenal for a new challenge to tackle.

During the 1979/80 campaign The Gunners launched their way to the Cup Winners Cup final which Arsenal lost on penalties to Valencia, after having knocked aside Juventus in the semi-finals. This saw him catch the attention of the Italian Old Lady after putting up an impressive display. Towards the final stages of the 1980 season they came flying in for Brady, taking him back to Italy in a deal worth £500,000 becoming the first foreign footballer to transfer to the side after the Italian boarder was re-launched for foreign deals in 1980.

Brady’s days at Arsenal saw him feature in 307 games grabbing 59 goals creating even more selflessly for his teammates.

He would spend two years at Juventus with the iconic number 10 shirt and securing two titles in 1981 and 1982.  Brady ensured Juventus secured the 1981/82 title after netting the penalty in a 1-0 victory over Catanzaro. After Michael Platini was signed later that year Brady switched to another Italian side Sampdoria where he retained the number 10 shirt forming an attacking alliance with Trevor Francis.  In 1984 Brady experienced even more of the country after transferring to Inter Milan which he would stay at till 1986 where he failed to achieve any silverware. In the summer of 1986 Brady joined Ascoli where his time in Italy ended in emotional turmoil falling out with the club after having disputes about not being paid with the side’s president Costantino Rozzi which finished off his career abroad.

After having just started life in his 30s he flew back to England in mid 1987 to play for West Ham United after signing for £100,000 which witnessed him net 10 goals in 119 appearances. He was also included in the team which were relegated from the top-flight of English Football in 1989. After enduring the 1989/90 campaign in the Second Division with The Hammers he hung up his boots for good, following scoring in final match for the club.

Throughout his playing career Brady was called up 72 times for Republic of Ireland from 1974 to 1990 notching up nine goals.

In 1990 Brady went into management taking over the reins at Celtic from 1991-1993 before Brighton and Hove Albion between 1993 and 1995. A bitter time in management saw Brady struggle to achieve any real success with either side.

Come 1996 he returned to Highbury adapting to new role of Arsenals Youth and Development Academy Director. His youth team triumphed winning the 1998 FA Premier Youth League, the FA Premier Academy League u17 championship in 2000 and the FA Premier Academy league u19 title up until 2002. Under his command The Gunners also won the 2009 and 2010 FA Premier Academy League u18 championship, alongside the FA Youth Cup in 2000, 2001 and 2009.

January 2013 saw Arsenal declare Brady would retire from his role as Director of The Gunners Youth Academy in 2014.

Brady also experienced a career on TV popping up as a pundit for the BBC during the 1990 and 1994 World Cups before switching to RTE Sport for the 1998 competition. He stayed with the media company for the 2018 World Cup, UEFA Euro 2020 and 2022 World Cup.

Last year Brady stated that he would finish up his punditry work with RTE Sport after a quarter of a century.

At the age of 67 Brady is still adored by all Arsenal fans for being a great passer of the ball with an even greater vision which led to many crucial goals in the clubs history across all competitions.

A true Arsenal legend….

Liam Harding

STOP CELEBRATING! Here is the latest DUBLIN ARSENAL podcast with our Irish friends EAMONN And JONATHON special guest Liam from @inthenorthbank on our fantastic win over Liverpool and a preview of West Ham….

CALLING ALL ARSENAL FANS! Anyone who would like to contribute an Article or Video opinion piece on JustArsenal, please contact us through this link

Tags Liam Brady


  1. On par with Santi, Mozart, Ozil, Odegaard and only just behind Bergkamp as one of our most creative players.
    Can see a lot of him in ESR, so let’s hope that MA doesn’t make the same mistake that Bertie Mee made!!
    THAT goal against the spuds in our 5-0 drubbing of them, is still up there with the iconic Henry, Adams and Bergkamp goals.

        1. I’m home now after 17 weeks in hospital Ken. A bit of cancer on my spine, lost the use of my legs for a while, but got some mobility back. Hope all’s well with you.

          Regarding Chippy, a little while after he left his position at the academy he did an interview with Talksport. In that interview he said that in January 1980 he secretly met Uli Hoeness of Bayern Muchen about joining them. That was about 15 years before the Bowman ruling came into force.

          1. I’ve just read your post HD and sorry to read about your health issues with cancer. I very much hope you make a speedy recovery and I look forward to reading more of your posts Hopefully after a good win tomorrow

            1. Thanks SueP. It’s going to be a long road to full recovery, but hopefully I’ll get there. 🤞for 3points tomorrow.

              1. Echo SueP’s sentiments and look forward to seeing you at the Emirates next season.
                Awful disease that we will conquer one day, meanwhile keep correcting my failing memory!!
                Take care!!

                1. Thanks Ken, hopefully I’ll be able to meet you next season. I just hope that my memory is as good as yours if I live as long you have.

    1. IMO Ken Brady was miles ahead od all you ist intalentr and effectiveness eso as he played in inferior Arsenal teams to those Brady played in.

      The sole exception is the sublime Bergkamp who put even Brady in the shade. None of the first four you listed were even close to Brady, let alone Dennis!

  2. For Liam Harding
    a) Great memories of the 1979 final with Jennings, Pat Rice and Brian Talbot. Remember it so well just like yesterday.
    b) Brady was the reason I started supporting Arsenal .
    c) Just a small technicality. In the FA cup final Brady made a run through the middle and fed Graham Rix who crossed the ball for Sunderland’s winner against Man Utd after we conceded 2 goals in the end whilst leading 2-0 for so long. Brady did not assist for the winner though but made it possible with his run.

  3. So Chippy was a journeyman, its seems with an amazing social adaptability skills, he may have been driven by setting goals and achieving it by his personal performance which Arsenal may have suspected by 1980, willing to make the old lady have her way with their man but not before setting back the Italian club with a pisspot load of money in those days.

    It would be interesting to know why Chippy was all over the globe?
    I cannot stress the importance of a player loyalty to a club of his choice, for not to more often than not marginalized his image with the public.

    Yes Liam Brady could have stayed on much longer and became a legend at Arsenal.

    1. Gunsmoke
      I dio not begrudge any player who wants to earn the money
      In that era the big bucks was in Italy and the onld English division 1 was littered with beautiful players but the money wasn’t there.
      That said you will never hear any die hard arsenal supporter who was lucky enough to have seen Brady play say a bad word about him
      The spuds had hoddle and we had our god in Brady
      Blessed with so much skill and excitement and he was one of our own
      Onwards a d upwards

        1. SueP & Alanball08
          A think Jimmy Logie another talented Arsenal player emphasis your points.

          Having endured a life of poor financial standing after hanging up his boots.

          Please can any of you tells me the main difference between Anelka and Liam Brady?
          They both seems extremely talented players?
          Did they both left for greener pastures?
          I do know the Anelka brothers was terrible.

          My appetite has gotten a little wet

          1. My take only here , Gunsmoke and I’m sure Allanball08 could show technical differences but Liam Brady really felt like one of our own. Anelka on the other hand was fantastically talented but was poorly guided as you pointed out. Under Wenger he could have had a far better career and would then have won the love that is given to Liam Brady. Allan is right that the financial rewards didn’t come close to nowadays. Top football players did earn more than the average person but with a short career and punditry not is what it is today, then a big payday elsewhere was appealing. Back then, very few players left our shores and were often poorly educated.

          2. GS
            Anelka had the world at his feet
            Could of and should have gone on to be one.of the greatest striker’s
            Could score with his head, burn everyone for pace
            Unfortunately at such a young age his head was turned and the rest is history
            Don’t get.me wrong. for all the clubs he played for he done a job for them
            LB was so gifted
            Silky skill carried out on bog pitches
            Do me a favour
            Go watch him on line and then go and tell us if your opinion on him might have changed slightly
            Even when he left I still classed him as our own
            Don’t say that to often when a player leaves
            Onwards and upwards

            1. Watching from the online clips he could easily be mistaken for a Brazilian, seems he was some player, am satisfied with both answers.👍🏻

              1. Liam Bradyo
                Like the ring to that
                I wasn’t trying to make a point to you was just happy you ould see his control, ability, skill for your on self

                He was an exceptional player but there were so many in that era who were blessed with ability and skill

  4. I was devastated when he left but looking back I can see why he did, his classy style suited Italian football much more than the English league back then

  5. I was fortunate enough to be working over the Arsenal at the time of the Brady era
    As a school boy working on the bars ect at the club you loved and being paid for was heaven
    I remember being sent In to the changing rooms and giving out the gum to the players and staff
    Brady being in there and seeing my idol in the flesh…so good
    Onwards a d upwards

    1. How lovely – they are such great moments in your life

      My brother and I use to cycle over to South Herts GC back in the early 70’s to see the players arrive for their pre match lunch. I was just a teenager and he was under 10. They never minded signing our autograph books – happy days

      1. SueP
        How things have changed
        You wouldn’t be allowed near them now days
        Lots of things about the game have changed for the better but what you ha e said about autograph ect have definitely changed for the worse
        Then they were normal people who ÿou could approach, find them in the local having a quiet drink
        Nowadays, can’t get near them

  6. After watching the first half of the Leverkusen vs Bayern, I feel the biggest mistake Arteta and Edu made is not giving Xhaka a new contract.
    I’m actually one of the people that underrated Xhaka.
    The way he progresses the ball fast, playing incisive vertical passes.
    I think losing Xhaka and of course not having Partey fit has affected our style of play

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors