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Alex Stepney

Delve into the Alex Stepney Memorabilia Collection, commemorating the steady hands of Manchester United’s legendary goalkeeper. Each vintage shirt, signed glove, evocative photo, or iconic jersey captures Stepney’s unerring reflexes, commanding presence, and the moments when he stood tall at Old Trafford. Authenticated with genuine signatures, these collectibles are a portal to an era when Stepney’s goalkeeping heroics anchored the Red Devils. Perfect for United fans, goalkeeping aficionados, and collectors, this collection offers a glimpse into a time when Alex Stepney was the last line of defense at the Theatre of Dreams. Relive his glory with these cherished pieces.

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Alexander Cyril Stepney: The Goalkeeper Extraordinaire

Alexander Cyril Stepney, born on September 18, 1942, in Mitcham, Surrey, is a former English footballer renowned for his exceptional goalkeeping skills. His illustrious career spanned clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea, and the Dallas Tornado, leaving an indelible mark in the annals of football history.

Early Career and Rise to Prominence

Stepney’s football journey began with Tooting & Mitcham United, where he displayed remarkable talent. He was swiftly noticed by Millwall, who wasted no time in signing him as an amateur in 1963. Stepney’s rapid progression led to his professional status within two months of joining Millwall, and he remained an ever-present figure for almost three seasons, making 158 appearances. During this period, he earned recognition with three caps for England under-23.

In May 1966, Stepney’s career took him to Chelsea, but his stay was brief. Manchester United acquired him for a record fee of £55,000 just three months later, marking the beginning of a remarkable chapter in his career.

Manchester United: European Glory

Stepney’s arrival at Manchester United coincided with a period of tremendous success for the club. In 1967, with Stepney guarding the goal, Manchester United clinched the First Division title. This victory secured their entry into the European Cup, a competition no English club had won until then.

Stepney played a pivotal role in United’s journey to the final at Wembley Stadium, where they faced Benfica. In a memorable moment, he made a crucial close-range save from Eusébio in the closing stages of the match. Such was the quality of the save that Eusébio applauded Stepney’s brilliance. Manchester United triumphed 4-1 after extra time, marking their historic European Cup victory.

International Recognition

While Stepney was a highly skilled goalkeeper, he faced stiff competition for the England national team’s goalkeeper position. Players like Gordon Banks, Peter Bonetti, Gordon West, and Ron Springett were ahead of him in the pecking order. Nevertheless, he made his England debut in a friendly against Sweden in May 1968, just seven days before the European Cup final. England emerged victorious with a 3-1 win.

Stepney’s inclusion in the preliminary squad of 27 players for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico was significant. However, he didn’t earn another cap, and England eventually chose not to select him in the final 22-man squad.

Later Manchester United Career

Stepney continued to be a part of Manchester United during a period of transformation for the club. He experienced both the highs and lows, including the club’s relegation to the Second Division in 1974. Remarkably, Stepney scored two goals from penalties during that season, an uncommon feat for a goalkeeper.

Under the management of Tommy Docherty, Manchester United made a triumphant return to the First Division as champions in the 1974-75 season. Stepney played a vital role in guiding a youthful team during this era, though he faced competition from Paddy Roche.

Stepney’s last season at Manchester United saw the club win the 1977 FA Cup, with him being the only player from the 1968 European Cup-winning squad still in the team. He later moved to Dallas Tornado in the North American Soccer League, ending his professional football career in 1980.

Legacy and Post-Retirement

Stepney’s legacy at Manchester United includes 175 clean sheets and a club record of 92 consecutive appearances, a feat eventually surpassed by Steve Coppell. Remarkably, he remains the top-scoring goalkeeper in Manchester United’s history, having netted two goals from penalties. Outside of Peter Schmeichel, no other Manchester United goalkeeper scored in a competitive match in the post-Second World War era.

After retiring as a player, Stepney became a goalkeeping coach, working with various clubs, including Manchester City. He also enjoyed a career as an after-dinner speaker and became the host of “The Legends Football Phone-in” on 105.4 Century Radio in Manchester, further solidifying his status as a respected figure in the world of football.

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