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Andy Linighan: unsung occasional

By Tony Attwood

Ask the average Arsenal supporter about Andy Linighan and you probably won’t get too grand a resume of what he did for the club, and how well he performed.  At least that is how it seems to me.

And yet look at his honours

  • Football League champions – 1991
  • FA Cup – 1993
  • League Cup – 1993
  • European Cup Winners Cup – 1994

It is an astonishing array of success and all done within a time at the club when he was rarely first choice.

He was born in Hartlepool on 18 June 1962.  As the chart below shows he had a range of clubs before Arsenal signed him 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.  Here’s his full club history.

Season Club

Games

Goals

1980/84 Hartlepool United

110

4

1984/86 Leeds United

66

3

1986/88 Oldham Athletic

87

6

1988/90 Norwich City

74

6

1990/97 Arsenal

118

5

1997/98 Crystal Palace

111

5

1998/99 Queen’s Park Rangers loan

7

0

1999/2000 Oxford United

13

0

2000 St Albans City
Total

586

42

His years at Arsenal gave him 118 games of which 107 were in the league.  In fact as the chart shows he played over 100 with three clubs, and was not far off that number with Oldham, a third club.

Here is his Arsenal record.

Season League Goals Manager
1990/1 7/3 0 Graham
1991/2 15/2 0 Graham
1992/3 19/2 2 Graham
1993/4 20/1 0 Graham
1994/5 13/7 2 Graham/Houston
1995/6 17/1 0 Rioch
1996/7 10/1 1 Rice/Wenger
Total 101/17 5

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.

I honestly never shared the negative feelings about him.  OK, he was a classic big centre half, and they are not the most elegant of players, but at what he was required to do I thought he did it well.  Of course he was not a Wenger player, and by then he was coming to the end of his career, but he was an honest straight forward player – a what you see is what you get player, and sometimes there is nothing wrong with that.

And my God did I scream and shout when he scored the goal to give us the FA Cup.

The books…

See also…

Other sites from the same team…

2 comments to Andy Linighan: unsung occasional

  • Andrew Ryan

    Palace’s 1997-98 season must have been quite tiring seeing as he played 111 games during it!

  • ajmills

    Quality Arsenal player. Always gave 100%. Another excellent buy by George Graham.

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