I was working offshore when my mate told me Newcastle United had signed Liam Brady
I was offshore in 1988, when my mate informed me that our makeshift management team of Colin Suggett and Mick Martin had signed none other than Liam Brady.
Well, I knew that one-time Arsenal star Brady was well past his sell by date…
When eventually getting back home, I found out that we had actually signed the Man Utd midfielder, Liam O’Brien.
Earlier on in that year he had hauntingly scored at 15.03pm on exactly the same time as the 30th anniversary of the Munich air disaster.
Little did Liam O’Brien know that he would go into Newcastle legend and folklore even more so… after an inauspicious start as a right back for Jim Smith.
When Ossie Ardiles took the reins he gave Liam the reins in his natural midfield position amongst his team of relative youngsters and I literally fell in love with this guy.
In Kevin Keegan’s first game he inspired and scored in a 3-0 home win against Bristol City and was phenomenal for the rest of the season in our successful fight for survival.
Roll on 1992/93 and ’11 in a Row’ and this lad grasped the bull by the horns in a League cup tie at Ayresome Park with another sublime strike to help finish Boro off.
Then only four days later and and Liam planted a sublime free-kick into the mackems net for another derby victory to secure the 11.
Throughout the rest of the campaign he had a regular penchant for scoring spectacular goals but it became increasingly obvious that King Kev had decided between him and Paul Bracewell for our next season in the infancy of the Premier League.
Liam O’Brien came on as a sub in our first game in the Premier League against Spurs and featured in another handful of early matches, before signing for Tranmere, initially on loan before the move was later made permanent.
He was that good that he nearly led them to Wembley before missing a crucial penalty himself as they lost out in the semi-finals of the League Cup.
Well into my sixth decade, I have seen some fantastic footballers and some better than this fellow…
However, none is more deserving of a song dedicated to a real Newcastle United cult hero like this fellow.
“Lia, Lia Liam ‘O”…you will always be a hero to me….and yes you did put the ball in the mackems net, more than once as it happens!
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