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Liam Brady

Liam Brady (born February 13, 1956 in Dublin) is a former Irish soccer player, who is now a coach and television pundit. He was renowned as a midfielder with elegant technical skills, most notably his left foot, his high-quality passing and close control. He found success both with Arsenal (one FA Cup title) and Juventus (two Serie A titles), and won 72 caps for the Republic of Ireland. He is currently Arsenal's Head of Youth Development.

Playing career

From a proud soccer family, with his uncle and two brothers (Pat Brady and Ray Brady) having been players with QPR, Brady started his career at Arsenal. He moved to London to join the side on schoolboy forms in 1970, at the age of 15. He turned professional on his 17th birthday in 1973, and made his debut on October 6, 1973 against Birmingham City as a substitute for Jeff Blockley, and put in an assured performance. However his next match, in a North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur, Brady had a poor match, and Arsenal manager Bertie Mee decided from then on to use the young Irishman sparingly for the time being. Brady ended the 1973-74 season with 13 appearances (four of them as substitute) to his name.

In 1974-75 Brady was a first-team regular at Arsenal, and shone as a rare light in a side that hovered close to relegation for a couple of seasons in the mid-1970s. With the appointment of Terry Neill as manager and the return of Don Howe as coach, Brady found his best form. His passing provided the ammunition for Arsenal's front men such as Malcolm Macdonald and Frank Stapleton, and Arsenal reached three FA Cup finals in a row between 1978 and 1980. Arsenal won only the middle of the three, against Manchester United in 1979, with Brady starting the move that ended in Alan Sunderland's famous last-minute winner.

Liam Brady
Personal information
Full name Liam Brady
Date of birth February 13, 1956 (1956-02-13) (age 51)
Place of birth     Dublin, Ireland
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Arsenal (as Head of Youth Development)
Youth clubs
  St. Kevin's Boys FC
Senior clubs1
Years Club App (Gls)*
1973-1980
1980-1982
1982-1984
1984-1986
1986-1987
1987-1990
 Arsenal
 Juventus
 Sampdoria
 Internazionale
 Ascoli
 West Ham United
235 (43)
76 (15)
57 (6)
58 (5)
17 (0)
89 (9)   
National team
1974-1989  Republic of Ireland 72 (9)
Teams managed
1991-1993
1993-1995
 Celtic
 Brighton & Hove Albion
1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Brady was at the peak of his Arsenal form by now, as shown by one of his best goals for Arsenal; having dispossessed Peter Taylor he flighted a looped curled shot from the edge of the penalty area into the top corner, in a 5-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur on December 23, 1978. During this time he was voted the club's player of the year three times, and chosen as the PFA Player of the Year in 1979. He was the most talented player in what was then a distinctly average Arsenal side, which was unable to challenge for serious honours like the Division One title, and by the 1979-80 season rumour was rife that Brady would be leaving the club in search of a fresh challenge.

That season, Arsenal reached the Cup Winners' Cup final (only to lose to Valencia on penalties), having beaten Juventus 1-0 over two legs in the semi-finals. Brady's performance in the tie impressed the Italian giants and in the 1980 close season they signed him for just over £500,000. He is remembered as one of Arsenal's all-time greats, playing 307 matches for the Gunners, scoring 59 goals and setting up many more.

Brady spent two seasons with Juventus, picking up two Italian Championship medals, in 1981 and 1982; Brady scored the only goal (a penalty) in the 1-0 win against Catanzaro that won the 1982 title. After the arrival of Michel Platini in summer 1982, Brady moved to Sampdoria, and went on to play for Internazionale (1984-1986) and Ascoli (1986-1987), before returning to London to play for West Ham (1987-1990).

He won 72 international caps for the Republic of Ireland, scoring 9 goals, although he never played in a major tournament, thanks to injury and a suspension accrued before Euro 88. During qualification for Italia 90 Brady retired from the international game. Once The Republic of Ireland qualified he un-retired himself however Jack Charlton decided that those who'd played in the qualifiers deserved to go to Italy.

Nickname

He is fondly remembered by Arsenal supporters as "Chippy", not for his deft ability to chip the ball but for his fondess for chips from Fish and Chips.[1]

Managerial career

After retiring from playing in 1990, he managed Celtic between 1991 and 1993, and then Brighton & Hove Albion between 1993 and 1995. Neither spell was particularly successful, at both clubs Brady's tenure was overshadowed by financial problems.

In the UEFA Cup campaign of 1992-93, Celtic overcame Germinal Ekeren (which, following a merger, is now known as K.F.C. Germinal Beerschot ) by an aggregate score of 3-1. However, the next round would see Celtic record one of the most ignominious defeats in the club's history of European competition, losing to Neuchatel Xamax in a 5-1 drubbing in the first leg before recording a 1-0 consolation victory in the return at Celtic Park, which saw the club exit the tournament 5-2 on aggregate.

Brady would have no greater success with Brighton, departing following a disagreement over the way the club was being run; he later led an unsuccessful bid by a consortium to buy the club. He remains involved with the new owners, having appeared at fans forums as a representative as recently as 2005.

He rejoined Arsenal in July 1996, as Head of Youth Development and Academy Director, and has remained there since; although he was linked to the manager's post after the departure of Bruce Rioch, Brady insisted he was not interested in the role; Arsène Wenger eventually took the role. Under Brady, Arsenal's youth sides have won the FA Premier Youth League in 1997-98, the FA Premier Academy League U17 title in 2001-02, the FA Youth Cup in 1999-00 and 2000-01 and the FA Premier Academy League U19 title in 2001-02

Honours

Arsenal

  • FA Cup winner 1979; runner-up 1978, 1980.

Juventus

  • Serie A winner 1981, 1982.

Other

Brady was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006 in recognition of his influence on the English game.

Brady aslo became involved in an anti-drugs campaign in the early 1990s, called "give drugs the boot", encouraging young boys to play sport as a healthy pastime.

References

  1. ^ http://www.worldeasy.com/arsenal/brady.htm

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