Andy Linighan

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Andy Linighan
Personal information
Full name Andrew Linighan
Date of birth (1962-06-18) 18 June 1962 (age 54)
Place of birth Hartlepool, England
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1984 Hartlepool United 110 (4)
1984–1986 Leeds United 66 (3)
1986–1988 Oldham Athletic 87 (6)
1988–1990 Norwich City 74 (6)
1990–1997 Arsenal 118 (5)
1997–2000 Crystal Palace 111 (5)
1998–1999 Queen's Park Rangers (loan) 7 (0)
2000–2001 Oxford United 13 (0)
2001 St Albans City 4 (0)
Total 590 (42)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22 February 2008.

Andrew "Andy" Linighan (born 18 June 1962) is an English former professional footballer who played as a defender from 1980 until 2000, notably in the Premier League for Arsenal and Crystal Palace.

He also played in the Football League for Hartlepool United, Leeds United, Oldham Athletic, Norwich City, Queens Park Rangers and Oxford United before finishing his career with Non-league St Albans City.


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.[citation needed]

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 enough for him to win a medal.[1] 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)[2][3] came up for a corner and headed in the winner. Fittingly, it was Bright who Linighan outjumped to score.[4] 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. A highlight in his later years at Arsenal was scoring a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw away at Aston Villa in September 1996.[5] 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 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.

Personal life[edit]

Linighan now owns his own plumbing business.[6]


Football League champions – 1991 FA Cup – 1993 League Cup – 1993 European Cup Winners Cup – 1994


External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Andy Roberts
Crystal Palace captain
Succeeded by
Neil Ruddock