MARK BOSNICH Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities

 
 

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MARK BOSNICH
       

Mark Bosnich (born 13 January 1972 in Fairfield, New South Wales), is widely regarded as one of Australia’s best association football (soccer) goalkeepers, representing his country on many occasions and playing for English Premier League clubs Aston Villa F.C., Manchester United F.C., and Chelsea F.C.

       

Although he has Croatian roots, Bosnich grew up in a suburb of Sydney, and played briefly for Sydney Croatia (a team in the Australian National Soccer League) before moving, at age 16, to join Manchester United. After two seasons and only three appearances there, it was Aston Villa manager Ron Atkinson (a keen admirer) who lured the young keeper to Villa Park. In only a short time Bosnich made a big impression as a keeper who made spectacular saves, and during the 1994 League Cup semi final against Tranmere Rovers he dramatically stopped four shots in a penalty shoot-out. Villa would go on to win the final, ironically against his former club. At Villa he would go on to win another League Cup in 1996 and develop a reputation as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, also establishing himself as the number one keeper for the Australian national team.

       

Although his international appearances with the Socceroos were quite rare, they were memorable. Keeping Australia in the away leg of its home-and-away qualifier with Iran in a failed attempt to enter the 1998 World Cup, he also competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics for his native country. Bosnich also scored a goal for his national team (extremely rare for goalkeepers) in a 13-0 win over the Solomon Islands.

       

After 227 appearances for Villa, in 1999 he moved back to Manchester United on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling and immediately established himself as Peter Schmeichel’s successor as the first team keeper. Playing through an injury plagued, yet solid season he picked up a championship medal as United convincingly won the 1999-00 Premier League season. However, following a dip in form in the next season, he was soon relegated to third-choice keeper. Choosing to stay at the club, he tried to regain his spot rather than accept being loaned to Celtic F.C. Following disciplinary problems off the field and a fall-out with manager Alex Ferguson (under less than two seasons at United) during 2001 he was transferred to Chelsea F.C. Bosnich has claimed that Ferguson got rid of him because of his (Bosnich’s) “right-wing” politics (see [archives/2005/03/26/fergie_the_red.php]). Bosnich once publicly gave a fascist salute at White Hart Lane (see [archives/2005/03/26/fergie_the_red.php]).

       

His first-team chances were still limited there, even though he was earning more than 30,000 a week. He had also long fallen out of favour with the national side, losing his spot to Mark Schwarzer.

       

Bosnich went through an apparently bitter marriage breakup around this period, and in September 2002 his football career reached rock-bottom when he failed a drugs test and was subsequently sacked by Chelsea and banned from football for nine months - the longest suspension given to a player in English football.

       

In the autumn of 2004, he spurned an opportunity to return to football with League One side, Walsall, who were then managed by ex-England, Arsenal player and former Villa team mate, Paul Merson. He has recently been linked with a return to football with conference side Grays Athletic.