'Sub: McDermott' was a regular feature in Arsenal match reports in the late 1970s and early 1980s and no wonder. Brian McDermott made 72 appearances for the Gunners with around 40 per cent of them from the bench.
He joined Arsenal as an apprentice in January 1977 and signed professional forms with the club in February 1979. McDermott was a regular for Arsenal Reserves, finishing top scorer in the London Combination in 1978/79, and he was rewarded with his first-team debut - as a sub - against Bristol City in March of that season.
A pacy, industrious striker who could also operate in midfield, McDermott was a useful man to have around but he stayed on the fringes of the first-team until 1980/81. He made 16 starts in that campaign and, when Frank Stapleton left for Manchester United in the summer of 1981, McDermott was given a chance to fill the vacant slot alongside Alan Sunderland in Arsenal's attack.
He impressed at times but he could not nail down a first-team spot and, although he remained a useful squad member, McDermott returned to the periphery before leaving for Oxford United on New Year's Eve in 1984.
He left Highbury with a decent record of 13 goals in his 72 appearances.