If you’re reading this before midnight where you are on February 13, then it’s still Liam Brady’s birthday. The Arsenal legend is 57 today.
Who can forget his genius in the red and white, and sometimes yellow and blue? Setting up all the goals in the 1979 FA Cup Final, the amazing curling shot in the 5-0 win against Spurs (“Look at that! Just look at that!”), and of course his nickname of ‘Chippy’ due to his love of chips (French fries to some – or cheese eating surrender monkey fries if you prefer. I hear the French recently raised their terror alert level from ‘Run’ to ‘Hide’. There are only two higher levels: ‘Surrender’ and ‘Collaborate’. The raise in alert level was prompted by the fire at their white flag factory, which entirely destroyed their military capability. I’m here all week).
Well anyway, it appears that Arsenal could forget the derivation of Brady’s nickname, if this piece from the programme in 1983 is anything to go by. Apparently it was his ‘delightful ability to get back-spin on a ball as he lofted it over the defence on to the toe of a colleague’ that gave him the nickname, not the fact that all he would eat as a teenager away from home in London for the first time was chips.
We’ve been spoilt by having many great players at Arsenal over the last two decades, genuine world class players. Brady was one who would have been able to hold his head up among any of them.