David Seaman

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David Seaman
David Seaman.jpg
David Seaman, 2012
Surname David Andrew Seaman
birthday September 19, 1963
place of birth RotherhamEngland
size 191 cm
position goal
Years station
1979-1982 Leeds United
Years station Games (goals) 1
1982-1984 Peterborough United 91 (0)
1984-1986 Birmingham City 75 (0)
1986-1990 Queens Park Rangers 141 (0)
1990-2003 Arsenal FC 405 (0)
2003-2004 Manchester City 19 (0)
National team
Years selection Games (goals)
1984-1986 England U-21 10 (0)
1987-1992 England B 6 (0)
1988-2002 England 75 (0)
1 Only league games are given.

David Andrew Seaman , MBE (born September 19, 1963 in Rotherham ) is a former English football goalkeeper . He was best known as the long-standing number 1 of Arsenal FC in the 1990s and early 2000s. During this time he won three national championships ( 1991 , 1998 , 2002 ), four FA Cup trophies ( 1993 , 1998 , 2002 , 2003 ), once the League Cup (1993) and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1994 . In addition, he completed 75 senior international matches for England and was a regular goalkeeper at two European ( 1996 , 2000 ) and two world championships ( 1998 , 2002 ). Seaman is considered to be one of the best English soccer goalkeepers of the recent past, even though he made mistakes in crucial moments - especially in the two long-range goals in the European Cup final against Real Saragossa in 1995 and in the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals against Brazil .

Athletic career

Start of career (until 1990)

Seaman was born in Listerdale Maternity in the Rotherham district of Wyckersley and, together with his two years younger brother Colin, he grew up in modest circumstances in his hometown. Both parents were teenagers - his mother was only 16 when he was born - and they had little interest in football. For an occasional visit to the stadium in Rotherham it was enough and from the age of ten Seaman sporadically attended home games of Rotherham United . In the mid-1970s, however, his heart beat for nearby Leeds United , which at the time was one of the best English football clubs under Don Revie . Seaman himself had been active in school and it was mainly because of his size that he had to play as a goalkeeper there again and again. He showed such a great talent that he quickly landed on the team at his school and later played for the city and county of Yorkshire - on Sundays he also stood between the posts for the Red Scorpions .

His path to professional football was not clearly mapped out, however, and as a 16-year-old Seaman was faced with the decision not to prefer to play cricket . He turned down a corresponding offer from the Yorkshire Cricket Club and so he focused on football. The question arose which club he could go to. Although he had completed some trial training sessions (for example, next to Rotherham United at Sheffield Wednesday ), he was not yet contractually bound. Three candidates emerged. His teacher and sponsor Bob Earnshaw unselfishly recommended "his" Barnsley FC and to underpin Rotherham United's interest, coach Bobby Saxton introduced himself personally to Seaman's parents. The decisive factor, however, was Seaman's great fanatic passion for Leeds United and in the spring of 1979 he joined the youth department of the "Whites".

In September 1979, Seaman made his adult debut for the reserve team of Leeds United against the secondary representation of Preston North End . He made his first appearance on the professional team at the age of 18 during a friendly against Glentoran Belfast in the Northern Irish capital. The main reason why there were no further athletic development steps was that Leeds had maneuvered itself into a difficult sporting situation. During Seaman's three-year affiliation with the club alone, three coaches tried to build on the old Revie time. Jimmy Adamson initially failed in the late 1970s and his successor Allan Clarke even rose with the club in the second division in 1982 . As part of the targeted promotion, the next head coach Eddie Gray decided, among other things, to sign a substitute with more experience on the goalkeeper position for regular goalkeeper John Lukic . At the same time, Seaman received approval to change clubs. In the search for a new employer, the fourth division Peterborough United emerged. Behind this change stood Martin Wilkinson , who had also been dismissed as Clarke's co-trainer and had then taken over as head coach in Peterborough. For Seaman, it was particularly important that Wilkinson promised him a regular place in the goal.

In Peterborough, Seaman got sufficient match practice and in two years he helped the club in 91 fourth division games to land in the top half of the table. Looking back, Seaman rated it as particularly positive that he was trained in the "lower house" of English professional football in terms of competitive hardness and robustness. It is not uncommon for the technically less talented attacking players to use a high level of physical effort to gain advantages and a young goalkeeper seemed to be a popular target. Seaman matured into one of the most promising English goalkeeping talents, which then also celebrated its debut in the English U-21 team in October 1984 . In the same month he moved to Birmingham City for a transfer fee of 100,000 pounds , which had just been relegated from the first division to the second division .

With the "Blues" from Birmingham, Seaman developed particularly in his goalkeeping game, which was mainly due to the fact that his new coach Ron Saunders , who had previously worked very successfully at rival Aston Villa , had a greater understanding of his position and aligned the work more specifically - previously Seaman had more or less "taken care of" it. More emphasis was also placed on discipline and nutrition. Immediately after his commitment Seaman was due to the previous departure of regular goalkeeper Tony Coton to Watford FC between the posts and at the end of the 1984/85 season succeeded as a runner-up in the direct promotion to the elite class. The team around the new goalkeeper had conceded the fewest goals in the league. An important factor that Saunders relied on was the team experience. Later, the somewhat aging team around players like Des Bremner had difficulties asserting themselves at the highest level. The fact that they were relegated again in 1986 was due in particular to the lowest number of goals scored by the Blues of all first division clubs. Seaman also conceded 73 goals, but his reputation hadn't suffered as a result, as his ten appointments to the England U-21 starting lineup proved. Before the start of the 1986/87 season, Seaman moved shortly after Saunders' resignation for 225,000 pounds to the First Division active London club Queens Park Rangers .

In the total of four seasons up to 1990, Seaman succeeded with the new club to establish himself permanently as the first division manager. Title wins were mostly out of reach - the biggest successes in the league were fifth place in the 1987/88 season and the FA Cup quarter-finals in the 1989/90 season - but in the team of coach Jim Smith (later Gerry Francis ), he worked alongside a number of renowned players, including Terry Fenwick and Les Ferdinand, and later Peter Reid and Ray Wilkins . Seaman got along particularly well with coach Smith, who was also very popular with the other players. However, when Smith was fired in December 1988, Seaman's relationship with the club deteriorated. The reason for this was the new coach Francis and the fact that Seaman did not want to extend his contract, which expired in 1990. Francis withdrew the captaincy that Seaman had taken over in the meantime, and the relationship with Peter Reid, who had risen to become Kotraier, deteriorated visibly. Seaman had played his first international match for the English senior team against Saudi Arabia under Bobby Robson in November 1988 and in order to improve prospects there as well as to play for titles at the club, he tried to join a more ambitious club to stay. First attempts to move to Arsenal FC failed because John Lukic, who was supposed to be loaned to QPR by Arsenal, refused to give his consent. Only the renewed change of coach from Francis to interim solution and ex-Arsenal player and coach Don Howe brought about the decisive forcing - Howe had previously stood behind the commitment of Arsenal's goalkeeping coach Bob Wilson , who began to train Seaman once a week (who held the liaison for more than a decade). The willing to change Seaman, who was now hostile to parts of his own supporters, finally came to an agreement in May 1990 with Arsenal's coach George Graham , benefiting from the fact that his advisor Jerome Anderson had extensive contacts and clients at Arsenal. The transfer fee was £ 1.3million, with Arsenal receiving £ 1million for Lukic, who returned to Leeds United. Other interested parties regarding Seaman's commitment had previously been Tottenham Hotspur , Celtic Glasgow and Manchester United , with the move to "United" in particular failing because coach Alex Ferguson did not seek an immediate transfer.

First championship, cup trophies and promotion to England's number 1 (1990-1996)

Arsenal's supporters did not receive Seaman with “open arms”, especially since Lukic, who had been set as a regular goalkeeper since 1982, was very popular and was part of the 1989 championship team . The considerable transfer fee of 1.3 million pounds also created great pressure of expectation, but shortly afterwards the initial concerns disappeared. Seaman strengthened the already stable defensive row and in his first season 1990/91 he conceded only 18 goals in 38 league games. He had kept a "clean slate" in 24 games and in the meantime he had not conceded a goal for 540 minutes in a row. In the end, he won his first English championship straight away with his new club . In the national team, the desired development was initially still lacking. National coach Robson had taken him to Italy for the 1990 World Cup as "number 3" behind Peter Shilton and Chris Woods before his Arsenal debut , but when Seaman broke a thumb in the training camp in Cagliari, he had to leave early - Dave Beasant from Chelsea FC was appointed in his place. After Shilton's resignation, Seaman rose under Robson's successor Graham Taylor to direct substitute for Woods and at the end of March 1991 he played his first competitive game for England against Ireland (1-1). However, when he made a mistake against Czechoslovakia (2: 2) that was widely noticed by the media almost a year later , he was surprisingly disregarded in Taylor's nomination for the Euro 1992 in Sweden - the newcomer Nigel Martyn finally went to the tournament as the second goalkeeper in contrast to the World Cup, there was only room for two goalkeepers in the 20-man squad). Seaman had also gone through a difficult 1991/92 season at Arsenal. After the championship success, there was a “crash” to fourth place . In addition, there were two bitter cup defeats in the FA Cup against the fourth-class AFC Wrexham and also prematurely in the European Cup against the Portuguese title holder Benfica Lisbon .

When the Premier League went into its first season in 1992/93 , Seaman managed to concede the second fewest goals in the league, but the only 40 goals they scored themselves were only enough for a disappointing tenth place. He celebrated successes in the two domestic cup competitions and in the end Seaman won the league cup and the FA Cup trophy . He denied both final games against Sheffield Wednesday with a double hernia, which was allegedly caused by the fact that in his additional role as a "cleaner" in the defense he made disproportionately wide discounts from the game. In the summer break he had an operation and in time for the following season 1993/94, which Seaman brought in another title with the European Cup Winners' Cup , he reported back fit. In contrast to the early European Cup two years earlier, Arsenal were defensively more disciplined and in a total of nine encounters, including the 1-0 final win against a favorite AC Parma, Arsenal conceded only three goals with Seaman between the posts. Seaman, who was also characterized by the fact that parades looked “comparatively easy” for him, himself described a defensive action against Gianfranco Zola as probably the best parade of his career. Seaman had experienced the game against San Marino a few months earlier in November 1993 as far less glorious , when he conceded the fastest goal in World Cup qualifying history as England goalkeeper - it took only 8 seconds for a back pass from Stuart Pearce to score 0: 1 - in the end England won the game by a clear 7-1. Seaman finally came into focus in the subsequent 1994/95 season, when he played a key role in ensuring that Arsenal once again made it into the final of the European Cup winners' competition - coach Graham, meanwhile, had to leave due to a bribe affair in February 1995 and room for the interim solution Stewart Houston to have to do. In the quarter-finals against French representative AJ Auxerre and in the semifinals against Italy's Sampdoria Genoa , he played despite a broken rib and the last-mentioned game he decided significantly in Arsenal's favor when he parried Attilio Lombardo's penalty on penalties . However, the final against Real Zaragoza ended tragically for him , as he conceded a spectacular long-range goal near the outside line of Nayim to the final score in the final phase of extra time when the score was 1-1 . The volatile nature had the gate also because Nayim in Arsenal's local rivals Tottenham Hotspur had played a few years earlier and so mocked their trailers Seaman in the aftermath often in reference to the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (English: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest ) with the modified saying One flew over Seaman's head (German: "One flew over Seaman's head").

Despite some ankle problems towards the end of the season as part of a trip to China, Seaman established himself in the 1995/96 season as a "permanent" Arsenal goalkeeper behind a row of three defenses that had been reorganized by the new coach Bruce Rioch ; he also made his breakthrough as a regular goalkeeper in the English national team under the new sporting director Terry Venables . At the Euro 1996 in his own country , he was part of a team that made it to the semi-finals and in particular his two penalties in the group stage against Scotland and in the later quarter-finals in the decisive penalty shoot-out against Spain (in the duel with Miguel Ángel Nadal ) were partly responsible for this .

The Wenger period and two world championships (1996-2003)

At the beginning of October 1996, Arsène Wenger, a new coach, took over the sporting management of Arsenal FC. Wenger made numerous changes in the squad, but Seaman's status as a regular kepper was not in question. The fact that he only played 28 competitive games in the 1996/97 season was more due to his steadily occurring rib problems. Regardless, he had kept his box clean in 13 games. He had to take injury breaks three times, with his undisputed status as “England's number 1” also becoming clear when the “Three Lions” disappointed without him in the 0-1 home game against Italy in World Cup qualification . At the end of the season he was elected for the second time since 1991 in the league team of the year (" PFA Team of the Year "). After that Seaman should win the "double" from the English championship and the FA Cup under Wenger in 1998 , it had looked little at the beginning of the 1997/98 season. The performances were initially unaccustomed and in mid-January 1998 a broken finger put him out of action for a long time. In his absence, his young representative Alex Manninger also impressed - especially in the top game at Manchester United (1-0). After Seaman's return in mid-March 1998, however, he made eight games without conceding in eleven games for the decisive advantage to win the league title and to win the 2-0 final in the Cup against Newcastle United . With that, he also made a lasting impression on the upcoming 1998 World Cup in France . For the national team, now supervised by Glenn Hoddle , he was between the posts in all four games, right up to the end of the round of 16 against Argentina . On penalties he had saved Hernán Crespo's shot . Against the other shooters, however, he was just as inferior as he was after six minutes in regular time against Gabriel Batistuta after his own (controversial) foul on Diego Simeone . In the 1998/99 season, Seaman Arsenal helped set a new club record when only 17 goals were conceded in 38 league games - in addition to his 32 games Manninger contributed six missions. Despite further rib problems, he consolidated his reputation as "Safe Hands", as he exuded calm with a mostly unspectacular style of play.

A calf injury in preparation for the subsequent 1999/2000 season forced Seaman to take another long break. He then returned to the goal of Arsenal FC and the English national team and in the UEFA Cup he reached the final of a European club competition once again. On the way there, he had attracted attention with a parade against Deportivo La Coruña (1-2 after a 5-1 first leg win). In the final he went to a penalty shootout against Galatasaray Istanbul , in which he was again defeated. At the European Championship 2000 he was initially the goalkeeper under the new coach Kevin Keegan , but against Romania in the third and decisive game of the group stage he injured himself warming up. Substitute goalkeeper Nigel Martyn had to replace him spontaneously, but could not convince. England lost to a late penalty , due to Phil Neville , and were eliminated from the tournament behind Portugal and Romania.

Four years after his great success at the "European Home Championship", Seaman found himself exposed to widespread criticism. In addition to large parts of the writing guild, former national goalkeepers such as Gordon Banks and Peter Shilton found that Seaman had passed its zenith. After shoulder and ankle injuries in the middle of the 2000/01 season, however, he reported back with good performances, apparently strengthening the defense of Arsenal FC and convincing the new national coach Sven-Göran Eriksson of it, despite the large number of negative press comments on him as England's number 1 build. A short time later he secured victory in an important World Cup qualifying match against Finland with a spectacular rescue act in the closing stages. In the meantime, he had broken the club's internal record for the most goalkeeping appearances at Arsenal and in May 2001 FC Barcelona was won for a friendly match at Highbury in his honor (“testimonial match”) . In the 2001/02 season Arsenal again won the English championship and FA Cup double . Due to injury, however, Seaman had only contributed a comparatively few 17 league games and during his frequent absences he was represented by Richard Wright and Stuart Taylor , both of whom had double-digit numbers. At the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea , Eriksson let him play in each game until they were eliminated in the quarter-finals, despite the lower match practice. The goal against Ronaldinho , which ultimately sealed the tournament , was particularly remembered when he was outwitted with a "lob" in a direct free kick from a long distance to make it 1: 2.

In his thirteenth and final season with Arsenal, Wenger promoted Seaman to vice-captain despite continued criticism from British tabloids and he completed the 700th competitive game of his professional career in the match against Middlesbrough FC . His injuries persisted and after a groin problem in November 2002, he had to be replaced in February 2003 due to a hip injury in the Champions League against Ajax Amsterdam . Almost three months later, in the absence of regular captain Patrick Vieira, he led his team on the occasion of the FA Cup final against FC Southampton and in the 1-0 win he kept his box clean. After a total of 564 competitive appearances for Arsenal, Seaman left the club in July 2003 for Manchester City on a free transfer . Wenger had previously found a permanent successor for Seaman in the goalkeeping position in Jens Lehmann .

Career finale in Manchester (2003-2004)

Things did not go according to plan in Manchester and after a serious shoulder injury sustained in the 4-2 defeat at Portsmouth FC , Seaman, now 40, announced his resignation. In October 2002 he played his 75th and last international match for the national team. In his final appearance against Macedonia (2: 2), he had to accept an unusual goal again when a precisely shot, directly transformed corner hit him to make it 0: 1.

Activities after the athletic career

Seaman's on-screen presence as a footballer made him a popular talk show guest on the one hand, and the mistakes at the end of his goalkeeping career also earned him a lot of ridicule on the other. He replaced Gary Lineker as captain of the British quiz program 'They Think It's All Over' on BBC One , together with former British cricketer Phil Tufnellerst . However, they were replaced shortly afterwards by Boris Becker and Ian Wright . In the BBC film "My Summer with Des" Seaman had a cameo . In December 2004 he replaced Paul Gascoigne on the show Strictly Ice Dancing , a figure skating version of Strictly Come Dancing , and was able to win despite brief preparation.

With self-irony he brought the DVD “Goalkeeper's Nightmares” onto the market, on which goalkeeping mistakes (including some of his own, of course) and brilliant parades from the English Premier League were compiled.

At the end of 2005, he had his ponytail, which he had worn for a long time, cut off for a charity purpose.

In 2006 he took part in the first season of Dancing on Ice . In 2014 there was another participation, this time in the ninth season of the figure skating show.

Title / Awards


Web links

Commons : David Seaman  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. ^ "England - U-21 International Results 1976-1985 - Details" (RSSSF)
  2. ^ "England - U-21 International Results 1986-1995 - Details" (RSSSF)
  3. ^ David Seaman, Safe Hands - My Autobiography, pp. 26-29
  4. David Seaman, Safe Hands - My Autobiography, pp. 39-41
  5. David Seaman, Safe Hands - My Autobiography, pp. 50-52
  6. ^ David Seaman, Safe Hands - My Autobiography, 61
  7. ^ David Seaman, Safe Hands - My Autobiography, 65
  8. ^ David Seaman, Safe Hands - My Autobiography, pp. 66-69
  9. David Seaman, Safe Hands - My Autobiography, pp. 74-76
  10. David Seaman, Safe Hands - My Autobiography, pp. 83-92
  11. David Seaman, Safe Hands - My Autobiography, pp. 93-108
  12. ^ Hugman, Barry J .: Premier League: The Players - A Complete Guide to Every Player 1992-93 . Tony Williams Publishing, 1992, ISBN 978-1-869833-15-2 , pp. 300 f .
  13. ^ David Seaman, Safe Hands - My Autobiography, pp. 133-136
  14. David Seaman, Safe Hands - My Autobiography, pp. 138-144
  15. Barry J. Hugman (Ed.): The 1995-96 Official PFA Footballers Factfile . Lennard Queen Anne Press, 1995, ISBN 978-0-09-180854-9 , pp. 189 .
  16. Barry J. Hugman (Ed.): The 1996-97 Official PFA Footballers Factfile . Lennard Queen Anne Press, 1996, ISBN 978-1-85291-571-1 , pp. 218 f .
  17. Barry J. Hugman (Ed.): The 1997-98 Official PFA Footballers Factfile . Lennard Queen Anne Press, 1997, ISBN 978-1-85291-581-0 , pp. 243 .
  18. Barry J. Hugman (Ed.): The 1998-99 Official PFA Footballers Factfile . Lennard Queen Anne Press, 1998, ISBN 978-1-85291-588-9 , pp. 270 .
  19. Barry J. Hugman (Ed.): The 1999-2000 Official PFA Footballers Factfile . Lennard Queen Anne Press, 1999, ISBN 978-1-85291-607-7 , pp. 269 .
  20. Barry J. Hugman (Ed.): The 2000-2001 Official PFA Footballers Factfile . Lennard Queen Anne Press, 2000, ISBN 978-1-85291-626-8 , pp. 286 .
  21. ^ David Seaman, Safe Hands - My Autobiography, 9
  22. Barry J. Hugman (Ed.): The 2001-2002 Official PFA Footballers Factfile . Lennard Queen Anne Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0-946531-34-9 , pp. 272 .
  23. Barry J. Hugman (Ed.): The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2002/2003 . Lennard Queen Anne Press, 2002, ISBN 978-1-85291-648-0 , pp. 369 .
  24. Barry J. Hugman (Ed.): The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2003/2004 . Lennard Queen Anne Press, 2003, ISBN 978-1-85291-651-0 , pp. 379 .
  25. Barry J. Hugman (Ed.): The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2004/2005 . Lennard Queen Anne Press, 2004, ISBN 978-1-85291-660-2 , pp. 367 .
  26. Dancing On Ice line-up for 2014 revealed , December 11, 2014, www.bbc.co.uk