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Steven "Steve" Ogrizovic (from Serbo-Croat: Ogrizović) (born September 12, 1957 in Mansfieldmarker, Nottinghamshiremarker) is a former Englishmarker goalkeeper of Serbianmarker descent who achieved fame during 16 years at Coventry City (1984 to 2000). He holds the record at Coventry for the most appearances as a player at 601 in all competitions (504 in the league) and he played in the winning FA Cup team of 1987.

Playing career

He started his professional career at Chesterfield before moving to Liverpool and then Shrewsbury Town before joining Coventry for £72,500 in 1984. He was also selected to play for The Football League vs The Rest Of The World at Wembleymarker in 1987.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ogrizovic was generally considered to be the best goalkeeper never to have won a full England cap. Although frequently considered for selection during this period by a number of England managers including Bobby Robson and Graham Taylor, he was never selected for the full squad. Pundits agree that this was not due to his lack of ability, more because he was representing a relatively unfashionable side at club level.

He was still Coventry's first choice goalkeeper in the 1997–98 season, when at the age of 40 he was the oldest player to play a Premier League game that season. In order to gain his final playing contract Ogrizovic had to give up smoking as one of the conditions. He was the club's second choice goalkeeper for the next two seasons following the arrival of Magnus Hedman, and finally retired at the end of the 1999–2000 season.

In 16 seasons at Coventry, he collected an FA Cup winner's medal, but never played in European competition (Coventry were unable to qualify for the European Cup Winners' Cup due to the ban on English teams in European competition following the Heysel Disastermarker of 1985) and the highest position Coventry attained in this period was seventh in the 1988–89 First Division. On no less than seven times in Ogrizovic's time at the club, they came close to relegation from the top flight. They were finally relegated from the Premier League one season after his retirement.

Ogrizovic is also one of the very few goalkeepers to have scored from open play, the goal coming in 2–2 draw at Sheffield Wednesday in the Football League First Division on October 12 1986. It was the only goal he ever scored in a competitive game. He is also one out of four players to have played top-flight football in four different decades along with Peter Shilton, John Lukic and Sir Stanley Matthews and holds the club record of 209 consecutive League appearances for a Coventry City player, from August 1984 to September 1989. Overall, he made 604 professional league appearances in a playing career spanning 23 years from 1977 to 2000.

Cricket career

Ogrizovic was also a competent cricketer, reaching minor counties level as a medium-fast bowler. He played three List A matches for Shropshire in the NatWest Trophy, and a further game for Minor Counties in the Benson & Hedges Cup. Among his five wickets at this level were three Test players: Chris Broad, Martyn Moxon and Alvin Kallicharran.

Management career

During the Iain Dowie era, Ogrizovic was the manager of the Coventry City Reserve Team and he has continued to fulfil this role under Chris Coleman when matches are arranged. He was also caretaker manager in conjunction with Trevor Peake at the end of the 2001-02 season, between Roland Nilsson's departure and Gary McAllister's appointment. His current role is the Coventry City Goalkeeping Coach.

Kidnapping Hoax

In 2003 Ogrizovic was the subject of a hoax that said that he had been kidnapped in Kazakhstanmarker and an online petition was set up to campaign to get him released. This was proved to be false when the Coventry Evening Telegraph interviewed him at Coventry City's training ground at Ryton-on-Dunsmoremarker.



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