Peter Shilton Is An Arsenal Transfer Target On This Day, 19th July 1974

Peter Shilton was always given a hard time from the North Bank whenever he played at Highbury, following an incident in 1980 when he was arrested for drink-driving having been found in a country lane with a young lady by the name of Tina. It cost him £350 (£1,200 in today’s money) and a fifteen month ban from driving. And terrace jibes for years, even from a generation who probably weren’t even born when the indiscretion occurred.

Without argument, he was the top goalkeeper of his generation. Leicester City gave him his chance where his form was such that Gordon Banks departed for Stoke City. Shilton followed him there and into the England squad.

His misfortune was to have Ray Clemence as a rival; both were good although I always preferred Shilton as a custodian than the Liverpool ‘keeper. Both dropped clangers for their country although Shilton’s against Poland was more costly in the sense that England failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup finals. Clemence’s against Scotland was more humiliating, just for the occasion.

Arsenal at the time were recovering from the loss of Bob Wilson, needing a steady pair of hands which Geoff Barnett had not been able to provide. It was not until the arrival of Pat Jennings three years later that the problem was truly solved. What might have been, indeed.