On This Day: Arsenal's David Seaman broke Sheffield United hearts with 'ridiculous' FA Cup semi-final save
It's been seventeen years, to the day, since David Seaman almost single-handedly broke Sheffield United's hearts - with one of the most remarkable saves in FA Cup history.
United trailed Arsenal 1-0 in the 2003 semi-final at Old Trafford when Seaman somehow got a hand to Paul Peschisolido's header, which was behind him, and clawed it to safety. Peschisolido wasn't able to bundle home the rebound, before Phil Jagielka blasted the ball high into the Blades fans behind Seaman's net and Arsenal reached the final, where they beat Southampton 1-0.
The semi-final was Seaman's 1,000th career game. He was approaching his 40th birthday.
Paddy Kenny, the former Blades goalkeeper, had probably the worst view of the save possible - from the other goalmouth at Old Trafford on that day.
"There aren’t enough words to do the save justice. It was ridiculous," he told The Star.
"He was nearly 40 at the time and it was his 1,000th game as well. It was the best save I’ve ever seen in my life. To get to it was good enough but to have the strength to claw it back with his fingers… unreal.
"Although even now, when I see it back, I always think: 'If Pesch heads it straight, he scores.' He gave him a bit of a chance - but it was still a freak of a save."
Kenny, whose autobiography, ‘The Gloves Are Off’ is published later this year, got Seaman's shirt after the game - but later returned it to Seaman, at the former England goalkeeper's request.