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David Andrew Seaman MBE (born September 19, 1963) is an English football goalkeeper who played for several clubs, most notably Arsenal and most recently with Manchester City. He retired from the game on January 13, 2004, following a recurring shoulder injury. He was awarded the MBE in 1997 for services to the sport.

He is generally regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of all time, and his peak was during his period as Arsenal and England goalkeeper. During his time at Arsenal he won many medals including three league championships (1991, 1998, 2002), several FA Cups (1993, 1998, 2002, 2003), one League Cup (1993) and the European Cup Winners Cup (1994). During this time he also played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, and Euro 96 and Euro 2000.

He is also well known for a few high profile blunders, such as letting in a goal from an arcing 40 yard free kick by Ronaldinho during the 2002 World Cup, Nayim's astonishing lob from the right-hand touchline, some 45 yards, in the final minutes of the 1995 European Cup Winners Cup final, letting in a goal directly from a corner kick during his last appearance for the England national team, a 2-2 draw with Macedonia in a Euro 2004 qualifier in October 2002.

He was also in goal when, in 1993, England conceded the fastest goal in World Cup qualifiers history (to David Gualtieri, of San Marino) – 8 seconds, after an errant backpass by Stuart Pearce. England went on to win 7-1; ultimately the goal had no standing on England's failure to qualify for the 1994 World Cup.

Seaman is not generally known for amazingly athletic saves: his great skill was the usage of angles to deny opposing strikers any part of the goal to shoot at, making spectacular diving saves unnecessary. However, near the end of his career, in Arsenal's 2003 FA Cup semifinal against Sheffield United, in his 1,000th professional match, Seaman pulled off what many regard as the greatest save of recent times, and some even call it the greatest ever. Arsenal were defending a 1-0 lead, when with less than ten minutes to go, Paul Peschisolido had a header towards an apparently open goal from six yards out with Seaman seemingly stranded at the near post. However, Peschisolido headed the ball slightly too close to Seaman and the goalkeeper leaped sideways and backwards, somehow managing to stretch his right arm behind him and scooping the ball back and away from both his goal and the opposing players ready to pounce on a rebound.

Seaman was also noted for his ability to save penalty kicks - for example, saving Attilio Lombardo's shot in a penalty shootout against Sampdoria to take Arsenal to the final of the 1995 Cup Winners' Cup. For England, during Euro 96, Seaman first saved a penalty in normal play from Scotland's Gary McAllister in a group match, while England were 1-0 up (Paul Gascoigne scored soon after to make it 2-0). Then, after England's quarter-final against Spain ended scoreless, Seaman saved Miguel Nadal's kick in the shootout to knock Spain out of the tournament. England eventually were eliminated in the semi-finals of the competition; Seaman was nominated alongside Golden Boot winner Alan Shearer and winger Steve McManaman in the UEFA "Team of the Tournament". Seaman later acted in a cameo role in a BBC film based around the events of that tournament, starring Rachel Weisz, entitled My Summer with Des.

In 2004, following his retirement from professional football, he became one of the celebrities to take part in Strictly Ice Dancing, a one-off ice dance version of Strictly Come Dancing, replacing Paul Gascoigne.

He briefly replaced Gary Lineker as team captain on the quiz They Think It's All Over before producers decided to drop him in favour of former Arsenal team-mate Ian Wright

 

Teams

  • Leeds United F.C. (1981-1982)
  • Peterborough United F.C. (1982-1984)
  • Birmingham City F.C. (1984 - August 1986)
  • Queens Park Rangers F.C. (August 1986 - June 1990)
  • Arsenal F.C. (June 1990 - June 2003)
  • Manchester City F.C. (June 2003 - January 2004)
  • England (November 1988 - October 2002)
    • Debut against Saudi Arabia
    • Final appearance against Macedonia
 

Honours

  • FIFA World Cup
    • Appearances: 1998 2002
  • First Division Championship: 1
    • 1991
  • FA Premier League: 2
    • 1998 2002
  • FA Cups: 4
    • 1993 1998 2002 2003
  • League Cup: 1993
  • Cup Winners' Cup: 1994

 

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