My best eleven from over forty years of supporting Blues, starting with the last line of defence.
One of the most difficult decisions as Blues have been blessed with great goalkeepers throughout the years, starting, before my time, with England internationals Hibbs and Merrick. Poor Gil, forever remembered as the keeper who let in 13 in two games against the Hungarians in the fifties.
A few clunkers – Greimink and Gosney spring to mind – but, generally keepers have been of a high standard, think Butland, Bennett, Vaesen, Taylor, Montgomery, Thomas, the underrated Wealands, Coton, the list goes on.
In the end, it came down to three. Two only played one season, Joe Hart and Ben Foster, but, boy, were they good seasons and, of course, Foster has the added bonus of being a winner on that never to be forgotten day at Wembley 2011.
Finally, I plumped for someone I didn’t actually see that much of. 1982 – 1986 I was away at college and only got to St Andrew’s during Christmas and Easter holidays. This was mainly Ron Saunders’ days and for the last couple of years the main custodian, after Saunders had fallen out with Welands, was England’s second-highest capped goalkeeper, David Seaman.
It could well be argued that like Montgomery before him, Seaman best work came away from St Andrews, but, especially for one season, 1984-85, when we were promoted from the old Division Two to the top flight, Seaman was nothing short of miraculous. It was this season that bought Seaman to the attention of the wider world of football after his earlier false start at his boyhood club, Leeds United.
Seaman had cost a mere £100,000 from Peterborough. Money well spent, even for an increasingly impoverished Blues, as, pre-ponytailed but already ‘tached, Seaman’s goalkeeping, along with the goals of Clarke and Geddis, secured promotion for Blues to the top flight for the last time until Steve Bruce and another great day at Wembley in 2002.
David Seaman is the best goalkeeper I’ve seen play for Birmingham City.