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Andy Linighan

Personal information
Full nameAndrew Linighan
Place of birthHartlepool, England
Playing positionDefender

     Home | Football | Andy Linighan

Andrew "Andy" Linighan (born June 18, 1962) is a former English football player.

Linighan was born in Hartlepool into a footballing family his brothers David and Brian were also professional footballers. He first played for his local side, Hartlepool United, before spells at Leeds United (1984 1986), Oldham Athletic (1986 1988) and Norwich City (1988 1990). A tall, imposing centre back, Linighan became notable for his calm performances in defence for Norwich, and was snapped up by George Graham's Arsenal for £1.2 million in the summer of 1990 (despite Arsenal already having England international defenders Tony Adams and Steve Bould in the side). Linighan had been very reluctant to leave Norwich, but was told by then-chairman Robert Chase that he was being sold.

Linighan mainly played as backup to Adams and Bould at Arsenal. In his first season, in which Arsenal won the First Division, Linighan managed to put in 10 performances, which were only just enough for him to win a medal. His biggest moment for the club came at the end of the 1992-93 season; having already beaten Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup final, Arsenal faced Wednesday again in the FA Cup final. The final finished 1-1, forcing a replay, which finished 1-1 after 90 minutes and went to extra time; with 119 minutes gone, Linighan (suffering from a broken nose after Mark Bright had struck him in the face with his elbow) came up for a corner and headed in the winner. Fittingly, it was Bright who Lingham outjumped in order to score. Thanks to his goal, Arsenal became the first club in English football to win the Cup Double. His former club, Norwich City, qualified for the UEFA Cup as a result of his cup final goal, as it meant that Arsenal qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup, so the European place for the League Cup winner went to the team who had finished third in the Premier League instead.

By then, Linighan's place in the Arsenal side was further in doubt, as the club had signed Martin Keown earlier that year (Linighan had only played in the cup finals because Keown was cup-tied). Despite this, he stayed on at the club as fourth-choice centre-back, until he was sold to Crystal Palace in January 1997. He helped Palace as they won promotion to the Premiership, and became club captain. He stuck with Palace during the club's financial problems, even after they were forced to loan him to Queens Park Rangers for part of 1998-99 in order to reduce the wage bill. Linighan returned to the club after his loan spell, and was voted the fans' player of the year in 1999-2000, but after falling out with new owner Simon Jordan, he was given a free transfer in the autumn of 2000.

Linighan saw out the rest of the season with Oxford United, which ended in disappointment United were relegated to the Third Division. Afterwards he briefly played for non-league St Albans, before retiring completely from the game to run his own plumbing business.

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