7 of the most memorable goalkeepers

After making this weeks video about goalkeepers of NYC Footy I thought it would be fun to make a list of 7 of the best goalkeepers (err, my favorite goalkeepers).

The list in no particular order, since it’s not really a “top goalkeeper” list. Well, except for No.1. He’s in that spot because I actually feel he is the best keeper of my lifetime.

Without further ado, “the list”:

7. Bruce Grobbelaar: Bruce Grobbelaar was a Liverpool keeper in the 80s and early nineties. He stood out for his cat-like agility. He would stop shots in a style I have rarely seen a goalkeeper do since. As a kid, I thought Grobbelaar had a funny look to him - he seemed small for a goalkeeper - round head and a stand out mustache to go along with that iconic green jersey. Grobbelaar’s life has been full of drama too. Here is a video on his story:

6. Packie Bonner: A proper emotional choice here and someone I have already referenced in previous articles. Packie Bonner became my first football childhood hero after his penalty kick save v Romania that put Ireland into the 1990 World Cup Quarter Final. After that moment I had to get the jersey and the gloves. I would then try to mimic Packie in every way - from his kick out style to angry gestures. In later years, Packie struggled with the back pass rule which only came into effect in 1992. Whenever the ball was passed back to him, I would almost have a heart attack in hope he wouldn’t mess up. Scroll forward to 11:40 here and relive Packies greatest moment:

5. Thomas Ravelli: An obscure choice. I first saw Ravelli play for Sweden in Euro 92, the first major tournament I could sink my teeth into. Ravelli had a peculiar scruffy look to him. He was a bit like a Swedish Grobbelaar in his movements. But what I always remember most about Ravelli was his curious and risky habit of juggling the ball behind his back before he would launch goal kick out of his hands. I’ve had to watch a lot of videos to try and find an example of him doing it. Here is a good doco piece about Ravelli, and you can spot his ball juggling at the 7:20 mark:

4. Rene Higuita: Top of the nutter list - Colombian keeper Rene Higuita. You know when you are playing 5-a-side, and your keeper decides to recklessly go on a run up field while leaving the goal empty? Well Higuita would do that during a World Cup match. Here is a fantastic montage of his antics (excuse the awful choice of music). But for me the stand out moment by Higuita will always be his ‘scorpion kick’ save he pulled off v England in a friendly in 1995. I was lucky to watch the save live. The next day the UK news was telling how kids were in danger of getting badly injured in attempting the stunt. It’s a classic football moment:

3. Andy Goram: As a Celtic fan in the mid and late 90s, Andy Goram of Rangers broke my heart over and over pulling off what seemed to be impossible saves. Rangers at the time were the dominant force in Scottish football. But Celtic were getting closer and closer to over taking them. And when things got so close, it seemed like literally only Goram was getting in the way. Goram was another keeper who didn’t seem like he had quite the right look for the role - short, stocky and scruffy - but despite this he got in the way of everything. As he played for Glasgow Rangers there really is not much more I wish to say about him.

2. Jorge Campos: Mexican goalkeeper Jorge Campos had a few claims to fame. Through his career he would often play as striker and scored a hatful of goals doing so. But what stood out most about Campos to me were his incredible jerseys. My friends and I were such football nuts growing up, that we would often draw our dream football kit designs. So due to this - Campos jerseys were the stuff of our childhood fantasies. What was even cooler was that Campos actually designed his kits himself. My dad would tell me the crazy designs were to put the strikers off during one on ones. Decent logic if true.

1. Peter Schemeichel: I first saw Peter Schmeichel when he played for Denmark in Euro 92. During that tournament he seemed taller and more impressive than any keeper I’d seen. With his blonde hair he brought back memories of Ivan Drago in Rocky 4. Schmeichel had unique attributes as a keeper in ‘92. He would come out far and fearlessly, and pull high crosses out of the air. He would then launch a long throw out. We would marvel that Schmeichel could throw the ball out as far as most other keepers could kick it. After Euro 92, Schmeichel moved to Manchester United where he had a sparkling career. Specialising in the starfish save, and with agility he got from handball, Schmeichel is the all round best keeper in my memory.

Till next time…