Arsenal signed Andy Linighan for £1.2m in the summer of 1990. Given that we had Tony Adams and Steve Bould, two players revered in Arsenal’s history it seemed something of a strange move by Graham.
He had played over 70 games with each of the clubs he had previously been with (Hartlepool, Leeds, Oldham and Norwich) and played 118 for Arsenal between 1990 and 1997
Of course what we mostly remember him for was the FA Cup final of 1993, when as League Cup winners we took on Sheffield Wednesday again. The FA Cup final ended 1-1 – a fairly uninspiring game as I recall, and then in the replay we were into another draw. Linighan had already broken his nose, jumped for the corner on 119 minutes and headed in the winner. Fame eternal!
But even at that moment of high success Linighan was never first choice – and indeed he had only played the cup games because Keown was cup tied, having returned to Arsenal that year.
Arsene Wenger sold him in January 1997 to Palace, with whom he won promotion to the top division as captain. However he was eventually given a free transfer in 2000. After leaving football he set up his own plumbing business.
Here are the anniversaries…
20 March 1908: The Kentish Independent finally reported that Arsenal’s hard core support known as the “Torpedo Boys” had let off fireworks in the Nottingham Forest ground which had (probably) started a fire inside the stadium.
20 March 1910 Dr John Clarke, the head of the Arsenal fund raising committee began a tour of the public houses of Plumstead offering shares in the club at £1 each.
20 March 1914: Highbury was reported as being closed following the wall collapse during the floods on the previous day. As a result the home game against Grimsby scheduled for March 21 was postponed and played on Thursday 23 April.
20 March 1926 Jack Rutherford played his final game for Arsenal v Man City aged 41 years 159 days – the oldest player to play a league match in the history of the club. Arsenal beat Manchester City 1-0.
20 March 1937: 421st and final league game for Bob John. Arsenal drew 1-1 with Birmingham. He went on to be a trainer with West Ham, Crystal Palace and Torquay.
20 March 1968: Paul Merson born. He signed for Arsenal aged 14. Despite receiving sustained support from Arsenal during his own periods of difficulty, he became increasingly critical of the club and Arsène Wenger in his 40s often saying that Wenger should resign if he lost one or another particular match. The criticism continued after Mr Wenger left.
20 March 1971: Arsenal 1 Blackpool 0. Five wins in six gave Arsenal hope of winning the league but with Leeds also continuing to win there were also doubters. League match 32 of the first Double season. Storey scored the only goal.
20 March 1973: Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1. FA Cup 6, replay. Goals from Ball and Kennedy took Arsenal into the semi-finals for the third year running.
20 March 1976: Arsenal 6 West Ham 1; the best win in the worst season since 1924/25. Kidd (3) Ball (2) and Armstrong got the goals, but there was only one more victory in the remaining seven league games.
20 March 1993. After the Boring Boring Arsenal of five goals in 15 league games, Arsenal made it six goals in two with the result Arsenal 4 Southampton 3! Linighan, Merson and two for Carter secured the win.
20 March 1998: Vince Bartram signed for Gillingham on a free transfer. He made 11 league appearances in 1994/5 but none thereafter.
20 March 1999: Arsenal 2 Coventry 0 made it three wins in three during March, as part of an unbeaten run stretching from, 20 December to 5 May. Parlour and Overmars got the goals.
20 March 2004: Arsenal 2 Bolton 1. The 29th league game of the unbeaten season. Almost inevitably Henry and Pires scored. The result left Arsenal nine points ahead of Chelsea in second place.
20 March 2010: Arsenal beat WHU 2-0 away to go top of the league; it was their 6th straight win. Denilson and Fabregas got the goals, and Vermaelen was sent off in the 44th minute.
20 March 2019: Josh Martin transferred to Norwich City.