Hey Days News: Get To Know Bruce Grobbelaar’s Journey From Highlanders “Bosso” To Liverpool
On this day, March 17 in 1981, Liverpool signed Bruce Grobbelaar from Vancouver Whitecaps for £250,000 as their reserve goalkeeper, but in mid-1981, regular goalkeeper Ray Clemence’s departure to Tottenham Hotspur gave Grobbelaar his opportunity.
The goalkeeper kept 267 clean sheets for the Reds in 628 appearances.
× Six English Premiership
× One UEFA Champions League
× Three English FA Cup
× Three English League Cup
× Five English Super Cup [ Community Shield]
Eighteen Trophies were won for the Club.
National Team appearance.
Grobbelaar earned  caps for Zimbabwe between 1980 and 1998. Former Bosso goalkeeper
Bruce David Grobbelaar is a former Zimbabwean professional football player who is most remembered for his exceptional athletic ability as a goalkeeper, his unwavering confidence, eccentric and flamboyant style of play, and his rushing ability. He played for Liverpool between 1981 and 1994 and also represented the Zimbabwean national team.
Grobbelaar was born in South Africa but grew up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Before becoming a professional football player, he served in the Rhodesian Army. In 1979, he joined the Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League, where he gained Liverpool’s attention during a loan spell at Crewe Alexandra in the 1979-1980 season.
He signed for Liverpool in 1981 and made 628 appearances for the club over the next 13 years, including 440 in the League. During this period, he won the League championship with the club six times, as well as three FA Cups, three League Cups, and the 1983-1984 European Cup.
Grobbelaar’s outstanding performances as a goalkeeper were largely due to his gymnastic-like athletic ability. He was able to pull off incredible saves that many goalkeepers would not even attempt, and he was renowned for his unflappable confidence. His style of play was also unique, as he was known to be eccentric and flamboyant on the pitch. This, coupled with his rushing ability, led pundits to compare him retrospectively to the sweeper-keepers of the modern era.
In 1994, Grobbelaar left Liverpool and transferred to Southampton. Two years later, he signed for Plymouth Argyle and thereafter played for an assortment of English lower-league teams, never for more than a few games.
Despite retiring from professional football, Grobbelaar remained involved in the sport. In 2014, he was appointed as goalkeeper coach for Ottawa Fury FC of the North American Soccer League. In March 2018, he was announced as the goalkeeper coach for the Matabeleland football team.
In conclusion, Bruce David Grobbelaar is an iconic figure in the world of football, particularly for his exceptional goalkeeping ability and his unique style of play. He remains an inspiration to many young football players, and his contribution to the sport will never be forgotten.
Bruce David Grobbelaar is a Zimbabwean former football player and coach who is best known for his time as a goalkeeper for Liverpool in the 1980s and 1990s. Grobbelaar had an illustrious career that spanned over two decades, playing for various clubs across different countries. He is considered one of the greatest goalkeepers of his time, known for his eccentric style and unflappable confidence. This article delves into the life and career of Bruce Grobbelaar, from his early days in Zimbabwe to his retirement from football.
Bruce Grobbelaar was born on October 6, 1957, in Durban, South Africa, but was raised in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia). He attended David Livingstone Primary School in Harare before moving to Hamilton High School in Bulawayo. Grobbelaar was a multi-talented athlete who played cricket and was even offered a baseball scholarship in the United States. However, football was his primary passion, and he started his career with a Bulawayo-based team, Highlanders FC.
In his late teens, Grobbelaar was signed by Durban City Football Club in South Africa. However, he left the team claiming to have been sidelined due to his skin colour in a predominantly black team. The team had played in an all-white league until the previous year. Grobbelaar then returned to Zimbabwe and joined the Rhodesia Regiment during the Rhodesian Bush War, where he spent eleven months on active service.
In 1979, Grobbelaar was signed by the Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League (NASL) after he attended their scouting camp in South Africa. At the Vancouver Whitecaps, Grobbelaar played under the management of former England and Blackpool goalkeeper, Tony Waiters. He made his debut on August 4, 1979, against the Los Angeles Aztecs away. Grobbelaar spent the rest of the season as the second choice to former Wolverhampton Wanderers keeper Phil Parkes.
In 1979, he visited England to see family friends, and a chance phone call from Ron Atkinson brought him an impromptu trial with West Bromwich Albion. Atkinson was keen to sign Grobbelaar, but difficulties over gaining a work permit meant the deal fell through. Crewe Alexandra signed Grobbelaar on loan on December 18, 1979. During his time at Crewe, Grobbelaar played 24 League games and scored his only professional goal, a penalty, in his last game. Liverpool’s head scout Tom Saunders spotted him playing for Crewe, and he was eventually signed by Liverpool for £250,000 on March 17, 1981.
At Liverpool, Grobbelaar started as a reserve goalkeeper. However, regular goalkeeper Ray Clemence’s departure to Tottenham Hotspur in mid-1981 gave Grobbelaar his opportunity. Grobbelaar made his debut on August 28, 1981, but failed to prevent Wolverhampton Wanderers from winning the league fixture 1–0 at Molineux. His first clean sheet came a fortnight later at Anfield on September 5 against Arsenal, who were beaten 2–0.
Grobbelaar’s early days as Liverpool’s number 1 were marred with errors, and the Reds struggled to obtain any sort of consistency. Grobbelaar took a lot of the blame for this. By the end of the calendar year, Liverpool was mid-table in the league and looked to be out of the running for title honours.
Following his departure from Liverpool in mid-1994, Bruce Grobbelaar joined Southampton on a free transfer. He made his debut for the club on August 20, 1994, in a 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers at The Dell. During his two seasons with the Saints, he competed with fellow goalkeeper Dave Beasant, who also had a reputation for eccentricity. Despite allegations of match-fixing that arose in November 1994, manager Alan Ball continued to have faith in Grobbelaar, and he played for most of the 1994-95 season.
Despite the media frenzy surrounding the allegations, Grobbelaar managed to keep a clean sheet in his next game against Arsenal, and the Southern Daily Echo reported that he was “swept along on a tidal wave of emotion, to emerge triumphant from the toughest match of his life.”
In the 1995-96 season, Grobbelaar only played in two games for Southampton before moving on to Plymouth Argyle.
After his time with Southampton, Grobbelaar spent the 1996-97 season with Plymouth Argyle. He then had brief stints at Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday, Oldham Athletic, Chesham United, Bury, Lincoln City, and Northwich Victoria over the next two years before returning to his home country.