Bruce Grobbelaar


They say that all goalkeepers are crazy - and they don't come much crazier than Liverpool legend Bruce Grobbelaar.

The South African-born (but Zimbabwe-raised) keeper was athletic, charismatic and never short of self-confidence. He was also erratic, reckless and happy to grab the limelight whether for good or for ill.

It's hardly surprising then that Grobbelaar's football career was one of massive highs and desperate lows.

The pinnacle was surely his histrionics in the 1984 European Cup final during the game's penalty shoot-out. Liverpool had done superbly well to hold Roma – the Italians, after all, were playing on their home ground. What followed was a master class in psyching out the opposition.

Grobbelaar smiled throughout the shoot-out, biting the net as Bruno Conti walked up to take his kick. He blasted it over the bar.

Grobbelaar then upped the ante by wobbling his legs in fake terror as Francesco Graziani was about to shoot. He blasted his over the bar too and Liverpool won the shoot-out 4-2.

In 14 years at Anfield, Grobbelaar won six league titles, that European Cup medal and much other silverware.

He was also present at both Heysel and Hillsborough and these dark and desperate times were the pre-cursors for allegations of match-fixing that, despite being unproven in the criminal courts, damaged his reputation and ruined him financially.

Still, the image of those rubber legs will always endure...

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Bruce Grobbelaar