Andy Goram in Manchester United shirt
Photo: imago sport photo service
Andy Goram has won six consecutive league titles with Glasgow Rangers, but it is perhaps with Manchester United that he won his notable title.
In 2001 his prime was over at the age of 37, Goram was more or less finishing his career at FC Motherwell when the phone rang.
On the other end, United coach Alex Ferguson allegedly spoke up, imploring Goram to leave Motherwell and move to United immediately because all of Manchester's goalkeepers were injured.
Goram thought it was his old pal Ally McCoist, who was good at parodying the good Sir Alex Ferguson.
So Goram just said, "Coisty, fuck off," and hung up.
A moment later the doorbell rang again, Goram's wife picked it up and heard only one sentence: "It really is Fergie, and tell the fat bastard he has ten seconds to say yes or no." Goram said yes, played exactly two games for United and became English champions at 37.
For Rangers fans, the goalie of all goalies
That's why they took him to their hearts at United, but at Rangers he held that spot forever.
In 1999 he was voted Rangers goalkeeper of the century by fans, only fair after he had played 260 competitive games for the club since 1991 and, except for his last year, always ended up with the championship cup in his hands.
The nickname he wore was simply "The Goalie."
He was the goalkeeper.
Goram's time at Rangers was a success story, time and time again he hailed the title from eternal rivals Celtic.
At Old Firm, the local derby in Glasgow, he was always particularly motivated, then he played a little better than usual. Celtic coach Tommy Burns said at some point with a sigh that his gravestone should one day read: "Andy Goram broke my heart."
Never pursued by luck
Andrew Lewis Goram, as his full name was, was not a lucky man.
Even getting into football was difficult for him, the coaches actually thought he was too small for a goalkeeper.
That was one of the reasons Goram pondered for a long time: football or cricket.
Equally gifted at cricket, he is arguably the only one to have played international matches for Scotland in both football and cricket.
His goalkeeper coach Alan Hodgkinson gave him support again and again.
Goram called him his second father, with whom he trained at Hibernian Edinburgh, his first major professional station.
When he moved to Rangers for a million pounds in 1991 and things didn't go well there at first, the club had Hodgkinson brought in.
From now on, Goram was "the goalie".
Alcohol, women's affairs, three divorces, Goram was anything but a model professional, mentally unstable, erratic.
In 1994 he got into a fight in a bar on Tenerife and then missed his flight back to Scotland.
Rangers manager legend Walter Smith immediately put him on the transfer list, but when no one came forward Goram was pardoned and repaid with outstanding performances.
contacts with terrorists
When the keeper found out two weeks before the World Cup in 1998 that he wasn't going to be number one for the tournament, but rather 39-year-old Jim Leighton, he threw up and announced his immediate resignation from the national team after 43 international matches.
There was also turbulence over alleged contacts he maintained with terrorists in Northern Ireland.
In fact, he felt connected to the extremist Northern Irish Loyalists.
After their leader, Billy Wright, nicknamed "The Rat King," was shot dead in 1997, Goram appeared with crape on his arm at Celtic Park, of all places, in the home of Irish Catholic tradition - but he claimed he was mourning the loss of his aunt, who had recently passed away.
The crowd raged.
Goram polarized, provoked, but one almost had the feeling that he suffered the most from it.
He fell ill with a mild form of schizophrenia early on and made it public - which led to one of the most famous songs of Rangers fans: Instead of "There's only one Andy Goram" it was from then on "There's only two Andy Gorams".
A month ago, the public learned that at the age of 58 he was terminally ill with cancer.
The doctors gave him six months, it was only one.
Andy Goram didn't want chemotherapy.