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Happy birthday to Bruce Grobbelaar

by online
06 Oct 2016 at 11:32hrs | Views
Bruce Grobbelaar - the former Highlanders and Liverpool goalkeeper turns 59 today.

Bruce David Grobbelaar was born 6 October 1957. He is a former Zimbabwe international footballer who played as a goalkeeper, most prominently for the English team Liverpool between 1981 and 1994.

Grobbelaar was born in Durban, South Africa to ethnic Afrikaner parents. When he was two months old he emigrated to Rhodesia (renamed Zimbabwe in 1980) with his mother and sister to join his father, who had got a job on the railways there.

Grobbelaar grew up and learnt his football in Rhodesia. He made his international debut for Rhodesia as a 19-year-old in a friendly versus South Africa in 1977.[11] Grobbelaar played for Zimbabwe in qualifying for the 1982 World Cup and he earned 32 caps for the Zimbabwe national football team between 1980 and 1998.

His footballing career started with a Bulawayo-based team, Highlanders FC, in Rhodesia's second biggest city. In his late teens he was signed up by Durban City Football Club in South Africa, but left claiming to have been sidelined owing to his colour in this predominantly black team - the team had played in an all-white league until the previous year. Immediately after leaving Highlands Park, he signed up for National Service, spending two years on active service in the Rhodesia Regiment during the Rhodesian Bush War. In 1979 Grobbelaar was signed up by the Vancouver Whitecaps of the NASL after he had attended their scouting camp in South Africa.

Bruce is remembered for his gymnastic-like athletic ability, unflappable confidence and eccentric and flamboyant style of play. He has been the goalkeeper coach for Ottawa Fury FC of the North American Soccer League since 2014.

He gained Liverpool's attention during a loan spell at Crewe Alexandra during the 1979–80 season, and signed for the Lancashire club in 1981. Making 628 appearances for Liverpool over the next 13 years, including 440 in the League, he won the League championship with the club six times, as well as three FA Cups, three League Cups and the 1983–84 European Cup.

Grobbelaar left Liverpool for Southampton in 1994, transferred to Plymouth Argyle two years later, and thereafter played for an assortment of English lower-league teams, never for more than a few games. In the latter part of his club career Grobbalaar represented Zimbabwe, notably under coach Reinhard Fabisch. He last played for Zimbabwe in 1998.

Source - online