Thursday, 17 March 2011

St Partick's Day special - Magic Moments with David O'Leary

As it's St Patrick's Day, I thought I would share this Magic Moments video of David O'Leary, who holds the record for the greatest number of appearances for Arsenal.

Not many people know that David was actually born in Stoke Newington. However, he moved to Ireland at the age of three to escape the jellied eel famine of the early sixties and is considered by most people to be as Irish as a leprechaun drinking a pint of Guinness whilst simultaneously eating a potato and playing the fiddle.

As I grew up in the seventies and eighties when David was in his prime, he was one of my early heroes. He was a calm and collected centre-half, known for his elegant style of play and great positional sense, but he was also a big strong lad who wasn't scared to mix it up a bit.

As mentioned, David holds Arsenal's all-time record for appearances, with 722 first-team games, and over 1000 games at all levels, in a twenty-year long association with the club.  He made his Arsenal debut against Burnley on 16 August 1975, aged just 17, and went on to make 30 appearances that season. For the next ten years he was ever-present.

Despite playing for such a long time, he won relatively few trophies because he played at a time when Arsenal were going through a bit of a barren patch. He won his first major trophy when he played in the 3–2 win over Manchester United in the 1979 FA Cup Final. He also played in the 1978 and 1980 Cup finals, and the 1980 Cup Winners' Cup final, all of which Arsenal lost. He won another League title in 1991 and an FA Cup and League Cup double in 1993.

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