1 August: Liam Brady transferred to Juventus for £514,000

 

1 August 1980: After 235 league games Liam Brady transferred to Juventus for £514,000.

The tragedy of Liam Brady is that he came to the first team just at the wrong time.  Having won the FA Youth Cup and youth league double in 1971, while the big boys were winning the FA Cup and Football League, Liam moved up as the club went into rapid decline.

In 1973/4 he made his first appearances for the first team, generally to rave reviews, and on 30 April 1974 scored his first goal – in the game in which Bob Wilson played his last game for the club. 

By 1975 the club spent much of the season playing in the relegation zone, escaping only in the latter part of the season to come 16th.  In 1976 when Liam played 41 of the 42 league games we were even worse and came 17th, were knocked out of the FA Cup in the third reason and the League cup in the second.

Liam of course did win some trophies: the FA Cup in 1979, and Serie A with Juventus in 1980/1 and 1981/2 and played in the Cup Winners Cup Final.  He also won 72 caps for Ireland.

During the Terry Neill era things did pick up and with Macdonald and Stapleton up front matters improved a bit, and Liam played in the three FA cup finals of the era, but league winning achievements were not to be.

However he gave us one of the great, great moments – one of those moments which if you were there, stay with you forever.  At White Hart Lane on 23 December 1978.  Somewhere way out from the goal (I remember it as the half way line but I think it was closer to the penalty area!) he sent a shot right across the Tottenham goal and in to secure a 5-0 win.

And then he lifted his arms, and turned to the Shelf and stood there.

He became the first non-British player to win the PFA Player of the Year award but as noted above in 1980 signed for Juventus for £500,000 having played 307 games, scoring 59 goals.

After Juve he went on to Sampdoria, Inter and Ascoli in Italy, and then West Ham.  He retired in 1990, scoring in his last game.

After that it was to management: Celtic (1991/3) and Brighton (1993/5) but had no success with trophies.

But then he came back to Arsenal as Head of Youth Development and Academy Director.  In this regard he won

  • 1998: FA Premier Youth League
  • 2000: FA Youth Cup
  • 2000: FA Premier Academy League (under 17s)
  • 2001: FA Youth Cup
  • 2002: FA Premier Academy League (under 19s)
  • 2009: FA Youth Cup
  • 2009: FA Premier Academy League (under 18s)
  • 2010: FA Premier Academy League (under 18s)

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