On this day in in 1973, Liam Brady made his Arsenal debut in a 1-0 win over Birmingham City.
Liam Brady remains Arsenal’s most iconic Irishman.
Despite leaving to play at the higher level that was Serie A in the 1980’s at the tender age of 24, he racked up 307 first team appearances for Arsenal, scoring 59 goals; the most memorable of which was in the 5-0 victory at White Hart Lane on 23 December 1978.
I’m sure there are millions of Arsenal fans who still get shivers at the commentary “…look at that. Oh, look at that!”, as those of my age do at “..its up for grabs now….” or “...its Tony Adams, put through by Steve Bould..”.
England’s ‘Player of the Year’ in 1979, he still gets voted into every Arsenal all-time eleven, and older fans inform me that he was never really replaced until the arrival of Dennis Bergkamp.
What most people don’t know, however, is that despite the London professional careers of his elder brothers Pat and Ray (both played for Milwall and QPR), the young Liam initially hated his time as an Arsenal junior, leaving after a few months, and it took weeks of persuasion by the Arsenal back-room staff and Irish scouts to convince him to give it another try.
After he retired from playing, Brady returned to Arsenal in 1996 as the Head of Youth Development, a role he held until 2014.
He still serves as an Ambassador of The Arsenal Foundation.
Read more about Arsenal’s Irish connection here.