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Jovan "John" Lukic (Serbo-Croatian: Јован "Џон" Лукић, Jovan "Džon" Lukić) (born 11 December 1960) is an Englishmarker former football goalkeeper.

Childhood and early life

Lukic was born in Chesterfieldmarker to Yugoslav parents; an urban legend states that Lukic's mother survived the Munich air disastermarker while pregnant with him; this is patently false as the crash happened in February 1958, nearly three years before Lukic's birth. While there was a Mrs Lukic on board the plane, who did survive (along with her young daughter) after being saved by Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg.

Career

Lukic signed for Leeds United as a schoolboy. He made his debut for the Elland Roadmarker side in 1979 and went on to play 165 games for them. After making a transfer request, Lukic moved to Arsenal in July 1983 for £75,000, as a long-term replacement for Pat Jennings. By the middle of the 1984–85 season he was the club's No. 1, and won the League Cup in 1987 and the Division One title in 1989. He was ever present in Arsenal's first team throughout seasons 1987–88, 1988–89 and 1989–90.

In the summer of 1990 Arsenal manager George Graham signed David Seaman from Queens Park Rangers – Seaman had ironically been Lukic's understudy at Leeds. Having played 277 times for the Gunners, Lukic rejoined Leeds for £1million, playing a further 265 times and winning a second League title in 1991–92 and a runners up medal in the League Cup in 1995–96.

Lukic was displaced at Leeds by the signing of Nigel Martyn, and in 1996 he returned for a second spell at Arsenal. As deputy to David Seaman, he played 15 times in 1996–97 as cover, but after the signing of Alex Manninger in 1997 he stepped down to No. 3. However, with Manninger injured, Lukic was on the bench for Arsenal's 2000 UEFA Cup Final loss to Galatasaray, earning him a runners-up medal.

In 2000, after a series of injuries to the club's other 'keepers, he made a brief return to the first team, playing three times, the last a month shy of his 40th birthday; one of these, a match against Lazio on 17 October 2000 made him, at the time, the oldest player ever to take part in a UEFA Champions League match. This has since been surpassed by Danny Verlinden, Alessandro Costacurta and Marco Ballotta. He retired in 2001 and now coaches part-time.

Though Lukic played for England at youth and U21 level, he never won a full cap for the side.

Family

Lukic's son, also called John, and also a goalkeeper, was a youth player on the books of Nottingham Forest, before signing for Grimsby Town in June 2005. John Lukic Jr. has no club now after leaving The Mariners at the end of the 2005–06 season.

References




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