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Meet our latest Weekend Wonder: Joe Corrigan
Big Joe faces the acid test: The Weekend Wonder profile questions

Joe Corrigan in action for Manchester City

Joe Corrigan in action for Manchester City

Joe Corrigan is a Blues legend. Born and bred in Manchester he played more than 600 times for City and was voted Player of the Year three times by the fans. During his 16 years at the club Corrigan was centre stage for the highs and the lows during an eventful era. There is perhaps one aspect of a career that still rankles – that he only won nine caps for England. Corrigan was part of the great triumvirate of English goalkeepers, along with Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence. After retiring from playing he spent 10 years at Liverpool as their goalkeeper coach before moving onto West Bromwich Albion where he continues to pass on his experience and knowledge. In his book Big Joe: The Joe Corrigan Story, he tells all, but not before he reveals why he’s a Weekend Wonder…..


If you could give one piece of advice to any amateur keepers, what would it be?
Don’t dwell on a mistake. If you’ve got the ability you’ll overcome it, just push that to the back of your mind and move on.

Is it true you have to be mad to play in goal?
Yes, you’ve got to be! You’ve got to be a strong character. If you make a mistake you’ve got to be man enough to admit to it and then push it to one side and get on with it.

Who would you say is the best keeper in the world at present?
Gianluigi Buffon comes to mind straight away but also Petr Cech – he’s come into the hardest league in the world and shown his quality. He’s started to change too, he used to try and parry everything and now he’s learning to catch the ball more often.

I play like...
Well I wasn’t eccentric; there weren’t really too many eccentric keepers until Bruce Grobbelaar. I tried to just do my job when I called upon, not be too flashy, like Gordon Banks – calm, cool and collected.

Other people say I play like...
They used to say I’d be the next Frank Swift but I just wanted to be the first Joe Corrigan. I don’t really think it’s fair to compare, the game today is completely different to the era I played in and that era was different to the one Frank played in. I just try to let my record as a footballer speak for itself.

Best football achievement
Definitely playing for my country, you can’t get any higher on the ladder of football. Whether you play for half a game like Jimmy Rimmer, or get over 120 caps like Peter Shilton – there’s no higher honour and I’m very proud to have got the nine caps that I did.

Worst moment in football
A goal that Ronnie Boyce scored against me for West Ham at Maine Road. I kicked a ball out and turned my back on it and Ronnie volleyed into the back of the net from about 45-yards. It was a mistake, a bad kick by me, but everybody forgets what a great volley it was. It used to keep appearing as a ‘What Happened Next’ segments on television, it seemed to be on every other programme at one point!

Best player in our team
The best all-round player for me in the City side of the late 60s/early 70s was Colin Bell. When we lost Colin Bell we really suffered, Manchester City and England. He was quick, he could pass the ball, he could head the ball and he could score goals from midfield. You can’t replace a player like that.

Team supported
The area I grew up in was an overspill of Manchester and everybody supported Manchester United, so I just went along with the flow. My dad always reminded me there was another team in Manchester so I wrote to Manchester City and they offered me a trial - I signed that night. Two weeks later I got an offer of a trial at United which I turned down, so I changed very quickly!

Football hero
Harry Gregg - I used to watch him play for Manchester United, he played for Northern Ireland and was voted the goalkeeper of the 1958 World Cup. I was very fortunate to be able to work with him early in my career when he was manager of Shrewsbury Town and he taught me a lot about how to play the game, what to expect and how to use my size and attributes to my advantage.

Football villain
Any centre forwards that were around in those days! Joe Royle, George Best, Dennis Law, Peter Osgood – they were all villains in my eyes! I hated forwards, just as they probably hated goalkeepers!

Why I’m a Weekend Wonder
Because I was the opposite of most kids, because of my size I always wanted to play in goal and I was fortunate enough to have a career in the position I loved playing in.
 
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