‘Chanced my arm’ – Ex Stoke City boss recalls signing of Liverpool hero



“I see the BBC guys were discussing their top-10 Premier League goalkeepers over the weekend and it got me thinking about some of the keepers we managed to bring to Stoke City.

Possibly the biggest name of all was Bruce Grobbelaar who came on loan from Liverpool in 1993.

From memory, I noticed he wasn’t playing for Liverpool and simply chanced my arm with a phone call.

There would certainly have been no agent hawking his name around in those days.

I think Liverpool thought the move might re-kindle his enthusiasm for the game and that seemed to be what happened.

He only played four games, but his impact was bigger than that.

He brought an enthusiasm and a laughter (at the right times) to our dressing room, but was also a strong character with it.

Our fans loved him and I remember he would turn and have a chat to them in the Boothen End before taking a goal kick.

He was never the big I am from Liverpool and came across as being both polite and educated.

And when he left, he was quick to thank me and our supporters for making him feel so welcome.

As for that BBC top-10, Peter Schmeichel seemed to be their unanimous choice as number one.

When he left Old Trafford I never thought I’d see someone to rival him, but then along came Edwin van der Saar.

And when he left, I thought just the same, but then along came David de Gea.

If you were to ask United fans to pick their best keeper from those three, you’d probably get a divided opinion.”





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