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Andy Linighan

Andy Linighan
Norwich Career: 1988-1990 (106 appearances, 8 goals)
Current Club:
Date of Birth: 18/06/1962
Nationality: English


Andy Linighan joined Norwich from Oldham in March 1988 for £350,000. A solid defender, this was money well spent and Norwich's sound back four helped the club to 4th place in 1988/89 and an FA Cup semi-final in 1989. However his greatest gift to Norwich came nearly three years after his £1.25million transfer to Arsenal (July 1990). In the 1993 FA Cup final replay, his header past Chris Woods won the game for the Gunners putting them into the European CupWinners Cup and thus Norwich, as 3rd place side in the Premiership into the UEFA Cup slot that Arsenal had previously held as Coca Cola Cup holders. This may sound complicated to those unfamiliar with the intricacies of the European qualifying process which was even simpler back then in 1993 before the introduction of the second placed teams in the Champions League, the Inter-Toto Cup as a qualifying tournament for the UEFA Cup, extra places for Fair Play etc. Basically Linighan's goal put Norwich into Europe and thus the memory-making ties against Vitesse Arnhem, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. It could have been the start of something brilliant but we had Robert Chase as Chairman and hence we are now an average Division One side. Anyway enough of this rant, lets return to Andy Linighan.

Andy started his career at Hartlepool for whom he played 110 games (4 goals). He joined Leeds in May 1984 and played 66 games for them, scoring three times. Oldham was his next destination in January 1986 (87 games, 6 goals) before his spell at Carrow Road (106 appearances, 8 goals). Andy comes from a footballing family with brother David once at Ipswich and Blackpool and younger brother Brian who has played for Bury and Sheffield Wednesday.

Andy left Norwich to join Arsenal in July 1990 but was always competing with England internationals Adams, Bould and Keown for the central defensive positions. He joined Crystal Palace during the 1996-97 season for £110,000 and his steady performance at the back combined with some vital goals helped secure promotion to the Premiership, albeit via the play-offs. After their relegation the following season and Terry Venables' arrival as manager, one wondered for Andy's future at Selhurst Park. However following the transfer of Marc Edworthy to Coventry, Andy was appointed club captain. By the end of the 1997/98 season, Andy had made 45 league appearances for the Palace scoring 2 goals. Palace's dire financial situation at the beginning of 1999 made it likely that Andy would be sold to balance the books. Indeed, this almost happened on Transfer Deadline Day 1999 (25th March) but instead Andy joined QPR on loan until the end of the season. No less than 5 players departed Selhurst Park that day on loan to reduce the club's wage bill. Although Andy returned to Selhurst Park at the end of the season, he was transfer listed with Steve Coppell hoping to cut ties with Linighan even though Andy had a year remaining on his contract.

Despite being voted Player of the Year for 1999/2000, Andy's future at Selhurst Park remained uncertain as he was out of contract in the summer of 2000. Palace's new owner Simon Jordan invested heavily in the club in July 2000 enabling them to begin making purchases of players for the first time in two years. In addition, Linighan signed a one year extension to his contract on 21st July 2000.

Following a bust up with Jordan over team selection whilst on a training camp in Spain in October 2000, Andy was sent home early and was looking for a new club possibly with a role in management. He hoped to extend his playing career to the end of the season and then turn to coaching / management (The Sun 14th October 2000). Andy's wish was quickly fulfilled as he joined Oxford United on 16th October 2000, making his debut the following day in a 0-0 draw with Luton. However Andy's wisdom was not enough to prevent Oxford from being relegated to Division Three in April 2001. Andy parted company with United on 14th May 2001.

In June 2001, Andy signed up with Ryman Leaguers St Albans City but in early September 2001, the Saints announced that Andy's involvement on the playing field would be minimal as he would concentrate on his plumbing business.

The matchday programme for the Norwich clash with QPR on 17th September 2008 reported that Andy is coaching his son James' football side Wheathampstead Wanderers

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