Readers could be forgiven for thinking I have something against Scottish goalkeepers following my tales of little Selkirk and their hapless goalie Richard Taylor. However, I’m very fond of the game north of the border and have some good memories of visits to the likes of East Stirling, Hamilton Academicals and Albion Rovers, not to mention the bigger clubs such as Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and Hibernian. But the simple fact of it is, Scotland has had more than its fair share of bad luck where custodians are concerned.
Of course in the 1970s there was Stewart Kennedy of Glasgow Rangers. A fantastic prospect. When faced with a rampant English attack at Wembley on his international debut, he simply melted and Scotland were sent homeward to think again with a 5-1 defeat. Kennedy never recovered and ended up at Forfar Athletic!
Then there was Alan Rough, part of Ally’s (McLeod) 1978 World Cup army. The Scotland manager had told the Tartan Army that his charges would return home from Argentina with the Cup. Sadly he did not allow for ‘Scruffy’s’ performance in the Peru match – the dream was over and Ally was out on his arse!
Who could forget Jim Leighton? The former Aberdeen keeper had followed his manager Alex Ferguson to Manchester United, but the bandy-legged Jim failed to make the same impact as his celebrated manager and was sent packing to Dundee and Hibernian following an awful display in United’s FA Cup final with Crystal Palace.
However, all of these keepers had it relatively easy compared to the late Charles ‘Chic’ Brodie.
Brodie was born in Duntocher, Scotland in 1937 and went on to play for five clubs making 402 League matches between 1957 and 1970. The accident-prone custodian was dubbed ‘a walking mishap’ by the Sun newspaper following a number of bizarre incidents. In 1965 while playing for Brentford versus Millwall he found a hand grenade had been thrown into his goal. After part of the ground was evacuated the grenade prove to be nothing but a dud! During a match at Sincil Bank against Lincoln City, Brodie was floored when the whole goal collapsed on top of him!
Probably the most famous Brodie classic was recorded by the TV cameras in 1970 when Brentford were playing Colchester United at Layer Road. Chic collected a back pass when a stray dog ran across the pitch after the ball. The mutt collided with the hapless custodian shattering his knee and effectively ending his first class football career.
One would have imagined that nothing worse could happen to ‘lucky Chic’, however in 1971 while playing for non-League Margate in the FA Cup, he conceded double figures as a Ted MacDougal inspired Bournemouth rattled in eleven without reply. A few weeks later Chic broke his ankle.
After Brodie retired from football he worked as a London cabbie, and misfortune struck once again when he collided with a Jaguar. The driver was England’s 1966 hero Geoff Hurst!
That Colchester v Brentford match