Liam Brady says he will never forget how it felt to make his Arsenal debut.
The Irish midfielder came off the bench to replace Jeff Blockley in the Gunners’ 1-0 win against Birmingham City in 1973 and, 32 years later, the experience is still fresh in Brady’s memory.
“I remember it pretty clearly,” he told the Arsenal Weekly podcast. “I was a sub. In those days there was only one sub per team and for me as a 17-year-old, to get on the subs bench was very, very exciting.
“You’re just hoping that you can get on at some stage. It happened very quickly. Jeff Blockley, our centre back, got injured after 10 minutes and then I was on. I played nearly all of the game.
“I played very, very well and I got a great reception from the Arsenal fans as we beat Birmingham City 1-0. It was a great start for me in my professional career in the first team.”
Brady went on to make 307 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 59 goals, but it was his unstoppable strike in the 5-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur which stands out the most for the legendary midfielder.
“It was a red-letter day in Arsenal history to be able to beat Spurs 5-0 at White Hart Lane, at Christmas time as well,” he said. “There was a great atmosphere at the stadium and it was a great Christmas present for the Arsenal fans.
“We were so good on the day, so sharp and Alan Sunderland was electric because he scored three goals. We had a team who were playing at their absolute peak and I think my goal was the icing on the cake for the victory.
“I managed to tackle Peter Taylor and something that I’d practiced for years was to shoot with the outside of my foot from the outside of the box. As soon as I hit it I knew it was a goal. It was great to go behind the goal and celebrate with the Arsenal fans.”
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