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Brian Talbot
Gender Male
Ethnic English
Job English Footballer
Job English Footballer Scout
Desc Brian Talbot played for Arsenal between 1979 and 1985. He is remembered for scoring in the FA Cup Final victory over Manchester United in his first season. That made him the first man to win the FA Cup with two different teams in consecutive seasons


Org xxxx National Team
Club as Player Arsenal FC
Club as Coach Fulham [scout]

2018 07 30 Retrieve

[The 65-year-old, affectionately known as Noddy, is particularly associated with Wembley, making history in 1978 and 1979 when the FA Cup final was the biggest game in England] I went to the 1966 World Cup final as a 13-year-old kid. I can remember it as if it was yesterday. We had tickets for some of the games, either my mum or dad would go with me from Ipswich, the Uruguay game, Argentina. Then we won one ticket for the final in a draw. One ticket only, which was a problem. My mum took me on the train to London and I went into Wembley to stand on the terraces on my own while she watched it on a television set in a local shop until I came out

I’m so grateful to her for letting me go. The atmosphere was unbelievable. You can imagine the euphoria when we won it because, let’s face it, it was a close encounter. I saw a bit of Alan Ball in myself because I used to run around a lot in midfield as well. Ironically, I replaced Bally at Arsenal later on and got to know him personally. If he was still alive, he’d argue he was a better player than me and I’d have to agree! What a marvellous one-touch footballer he was

2018 07 30b Retrieve

[Watching Bobby Moore lift the trophy cemented his ambitions to become a footballer] He said, ‘You’re the young lad I’m paying and we don’t even see’. That was our first real conversation. My mum was worried about a 17-year-old going 4,000 miles on his own - it was a bit further than Wembley. I was the youngest player in the league because every other sportsman at that age in North America was at college. At first, they put me in an apartment and gave me vouchers for a restaurant after training so I’d eat properly

2018 07 30c Retrieve

[Ipswich emerged as a major force through the decade under Robson, culminating in a 1-0 win in the 1978 FA Cup final against favourites Arsenal] Arsenal were undoubtedly the bigger club with star players but we felt that we were the better team and if we played well, we’d win. Bobby put David Geddis on their left back Sammy Nelson to stop the supply line to Liam Brady. You didn’t realise until you played with or against Liam how great he really was, but that day we stopped him. We should have won by more than 1-0.

2018 07 30d Retrieve

[The following season Talbot left Ipswich and joined Arsenal, the team he’d just defeated at Wembley] I knew there was a chance of it happening before the final. Arsenal were watching me and though Manchester City were offering more money, I wanted to live in London and move my career on. Come the end of the game it was just a case of when the move would go through. It ended up being the following January but it happened. It suited everybody because Bobby signed Arnold Muhren and Frans Thijssen for Ipswich and they started to play a different way. I had a great time at Arsenal. I moved to Brookmans Park where my new manager Terry Neill lived and I’m still there 40 years later!

We won the FA Cup in 1979 and reached the European Cup- Winners’ Cup final. The only disappointment was we didn’t challenge for the title. We only needed one more top player but then sold Brady and Frank Stapleton. Both were hard to replace

2018 07 30e Retrieve

[Talbot’s finest hours were helping Arsenal beat Manchester United 3-2 in ‘the four-minute final’] In 1979, I was on the edge of the box when Alan Sunderland scored the winner in the last minute. I was grateful we scored because I think we’d have lost in extra time. United had the momentum coming back to 2-2 but thankfully their goalkeeper Gary Bailey made a rick and Sundy was there

2018 07 30f Retrieve

[His finest moment for Arsenal was scoring a winner against Liverpool in an FA Cup semi-final] I was Revie’s man and played in his last game. There was talk then of a change of manager and maybe he decided to jump before he got pushed. Ron Greenwood took over and told me and Ray Wilkins we’d be given an opportunity. Ray got his chance and played well for England, but I didn’t

2018 07 30g Retrieve

[Talbot was selected just once more, for a shadow team against Australia in 1980, but his brief England career was still memorable] We went to South America in the summer of ‘77 and drew with Brazil, Argentina - who won the World Cup the following year - and Uruguay. In Argentina, I swapped shirts with Ossie Ardiles. He was world-class, sharp and quick, but I’d still just take Liam Brady because he could do the unexpected and score match-winning goals.

2018 07 30h Retrieve

[Talbot also played in the eventful Home International in 1977 which Scotland won 2-1 before the Tartan Army invaded the pitch at full time, digging up the grass and tearing down the crossbar] It was a bit frightening. We got off the pitch quickly but I remember going back out later after everyone had gone to get a bit of turf to take home. I put it in my bag and left, and gave it to my mum and dad to put it in their back garden. Crazy when you remember the little things you did

2018 07 30i Retrieve

[Talbot’s playing career wound down after he left Arsenal in 1985 but still carried some highlights] Graham Taylor, God rest his soul, sold me the idea of going to Watford and being his captain. I’m glad I went because it taught me a lot about coaching and getting the best out of players and staff. John Barnes and Luther Blissett were outstanding but Graham got the most from other players through organisation. My next two clubs were Stoke and West Brom. West Brom was enjoyable under Ron Atkinson. By going down a level, I could still dominate games

2018 07 30j Retrieve

[As a manager, Talbot take Rushden & Diamonds from non-League into Division Two (now League One)] I loved my seven years at Rushden. I would put it on a par with Arsenal in terms of enjoyment. It was a fantastic journey with the chairman Mr Griggs of Doc Marten. It’s a terrible shame the club don’t exist any more’

2018 07 30k Retrieve

[Talbot left Rushden in 2004 but it proved far from the end. Stints followed at Oldham, Oxford and back in Malta, and since 2011 he has worked for Fulham. His official title is assistant director of football operations, reporting to owner Shahid Khan’s son, Tony. Essentially, Talbot oversees the scouting department. He was back at Wembley in May to see the club beat Aston Villa 1-0 in the Championship play-off final and admits] It was more nerve-racking than playing because you’re not in control

2018 07 30l Retrieve

[He also goes back as a member of FA disciplinary panels who sit at Wembley] The commission meetings overlook the pitch. I find myself gazing down, the memories flooding back. I am a little disappointed that the Twin Towers have gone because they were known all around the world, but Wembley is still special. I still love going there.

2018 07 30m Retrieve

[July 22, 1968 was the day it all started for Talbot at Ipswich. Plenty has changed in the game over 50 years, but not everything] My dad started the nickname Noddy at the age of three or four because I had Nods slippers, Nods books, Nods everything. It stuck at school and then in the dressing room. Whenever I see old team-mates like Paul Mariner from Ipswich or Pat Rice at Arsenal, it’s still, ‘Hello Noddy’. Even at 65 years old!