John Lukic shares a remarkable record with Stanley Matthews, Shilton and Ogrizovic

Jovan “John” Lukic was born on 11 December 1960 who played for two spells with Leeds and two spells with Arsenal playing 668 league games in total, across four decades.  He was also an England under 21 and England B international.

He played first for Leeds as a schoolboy and then started with the first team in 1979 before transferring to Arsenal in £75,000 as a replacement for Pat Jennings.  During this first spell he won the League Cup (1987) and the League title in 1989 (the Liverpool game) and started the move that led to one of the most famous goals of all time.

Season Appearances Manager
1983/4 4 Terry Neill

Don Howe

1984/5 27 Don Howe
1985/6 40 Don Howe

Steve Burtenshaw

1986/7 36 George Graham
1987/8 40 George Graham
1988/9 38 George Graham
1989/90 38 George Graham
1996/8 15 Stewart Houston

Pat Rice

Arsène Wenger

2000/01 3 Arsène Wenger

Having replaced Pat Jennings John himself was replaced by his own understudy from Leeds, David Seaman, George Graham saying, “I still think John Lukic is one of the best keepers in the country; I just think David Seaman is the best”.  With Leeds he won a second championship and a runners’ up medla in the League Cup.

Then John was replaced by Nigel Martyn and returned to Highbury as deputy to David Seaman and was on the bench for the 2000 Uefa Cup Final.  For his final game he was 39 years 11 months old and reputed at the time to be the oldest player ever to play in a Champions League match.

Season Club Appearances
1978-1983 Leeds 165
1983-1990 Arsenal 223
1990-1996 Leeds 265
1996-2001 Arsenal 15
Total   668

He now coaches part-time.   But his achievements are not just in the numbers above, for he has won the league with two different clubs, and is one of four players to play in the top division in England in four different decades (the others being Peter Shilton, Steve Ogrizovic and Sir Stanley Matthews).

There is a You Tube available  of him appearing on Soccer AM.

The books…

See also…

6 Replies to “John Lukic shares a remarkable record with Stanley Matthews, Shilton and Ogrizovic”

  1. A couple of things to add:

    John was once the subject of a trivia question that, following some simple maths, was disproved after some time. The question that was asked was: which current Arsenal player survived the Munich air crash? The question was thought up whilst John was at Arsenal during his first term. The answer was given as John Lukic and the explanation was that his mother was a stewardess on the plane that crashed at Munich and that she was pregnant at the time. There was a stewardess with the surname Lukic on the flight but it is not known whether it was John’s mother. However, she couldn’t have been pregnant with John at the time as the Munich air crash took place in February 1958 and John was born 22 months later in December 1960.

    Also, Billy Meredith just scrapes into the list of players who played top flight football over 4 decades. Manchester City were promoted to tye top flight in 1899 and he played for them and Manchester United in the 1890s, 1900s, 1910s & 1920s.

  2. In the list of Arsenal goalies since the war surely John was one of the best.

  3. I would say Arsenal’s top 8 best goalkeepers since the war have been (in chronological order):

    George Swindin
    Jack Kelsey
    Bob Wilson
    Jimmy Rimmer
    Pat Jennings
    John Lukic
    David Seaman
    Jens Lehmann

    I’ll leave you to argue amongst yourselves about who was better than who 🙂

  4. Just add James Ashcroft from pre first world war and Frank Moss from pre second world war and in my opinion you have the ten best ‘keepers of Arsenal.

  5. I listened to John give an after lunch talk yesterday on the occasion of my granddaughter (18) Kate Lyster receiving a SportsAid award. He was most entertaining and gave a fantastic biopic of his career. Well done John .

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