Jerzy Dudek – A Big Pole In Our Goal

Jerzy Dudek – A Big Pole In Our Goal

Liverpool Football Club has won trophy after trophy. It has enjoyed success after success. Supporters on the Kop – the most famous stand in football – have worshipped hero after hero. But some of them are more unlikely than others. Jerzy Dudek grew up in a flat in an industrial Eastern Bloc town. He learned to play football on a patch of grass with bricks as goalposts and worked as a miner in his teens.

A career as a professional footballer seemed unlikely – some would say impossible – but this is the story of how he overcame those odds to star for Liverpool FC in the most remarkable Champions League final of all time. Three goals down to AC Milan at half-time in Istanbul 2005, Liverpool produced a stirring six-minute comeback to take the game to extra-time, but with moments to play Europe’s most deadly striker, Andriy Shevchenko, had two golden opportunities to win the European Cup. Dudek denied him twice, producing one save so miraculous that it defied belief. Then, in a heart-stopping, nerve-jangling penalty shootout, Dudek’s wobbly-legged antics on the goal-line distracted the Milan players as they stepped forward to take their kicks. They missed three of them, two of which Dudek saved from the legendary Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo and – to clinch Liverpool’s 5th European Cup – from that man Shevchenko again.

From a Polish pit to the pinnacle of European football, Jerzy Dudek is one of the most unlikely heroes in Liverpool Football Club’s history. It makes his autobiography as unmissable as the chance Andriy Shevchenko had to score against him in Istanbul…