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Tag Archives: Jim Leighton
Manchester, November 3rd 2011
When Edwin Van der Sar retired, Manchester United fans knew two things: Firstly, that they could be grateful that he spent the best years of his career keeping goal for them, winning countless trophies and deserving all the praise that came his way – just like Peter Schmeichel indirectly before him.
Secondly, they also knew that it would mean that they would have to suffer through at least six terrible goalkeepers before they find another talented one. An initial case in point is that of David De Gea – half wolf, half ape – who appears to be as frightened of catching a football as a 7 year old girl on a freezing cold day with no mittens for protection. And eczema.
A United fan’s spokesman said yesterday that “we loved Edwin and wanted him to play till he was 50. Not just because he was a decent keeper, but because we knew we’d have to suffer through more clowns like Barthez, Taibi, Foster, Kusczak and Van Der Gouw before we’d have a keeper that couldn’t be nutmegged by a semi-trained goat from 40 yards”.
It is thought that this jinx on goalkeepers started with Jim Leighton owing a gambling debt to some travelling gypsies in the late 1980s. He refused to pay up after a bareknuckle boxing match between legendary “Big Danny” O’Halloran and former Red Devils full-back Clayton Blackmore (held in a disused mine near Wrexham) went awry. The travellers then put a curse on Leighton and all subsequent goalkeepers at Old Trafford. An exorcism in 1991 meant that it was partially cleared and the occasional goalkeeper succeeded, but most will fail.
Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to tire of De Gea during the transfer window. His next goalkeeping signings before a decent one arrives will be error-strewn Blackpool keeper Paul Rachubka, Robert Green, Bruce Grobelaar and a child wearing giant John Cena WWE foam hands.