Shilton or Flowers or Niemi or Davis?

“Football is a fertility festival. Eleven sperm trying to get into the egg. I feel sorry for the goalkeeper.” – Bjork

At Saints we have been pretty fortunate in goalkeeping terms, Peter Shilton was one of the top keepers in world football whilst playing at the Dell, Tim Flowers was often the hero during numerous Premier League relegation battles, Antti Niemi pulled off what looked like the impossible at times and Kelvin Davis continues to perform as the current number one.

But who is the top dog in the eyes of Saints fans?

Admittedly their is small amount of biased in the four I have chosen, based on the period I have been a Saints fan, so this is by no means an official decision, but as is the modern way, I thought the best way to decide this was to ask twitter.

I got a good response from the regular #saintsfc tweeters, including some suggestions that weren’t in my choice of four and I collated the answers. From fifty seven votes this was the final result:-

A victory for the ‘Flying Finn’ and my own choice. Niemi seemed capable of stopping anything, and was a key member of the 2003 cup run. As suggested by some of the older voters perhaps the use of a Social Networking site to collect the votes hindered Shilts somewhat, but I didn’t have the time to organise a postal vote, and as it happened it did end relatively closely.

Eleven per cent of the votes went to others, and some of the suggestions were an eye opener for me, Peter Wells was a popular choice with the over forties, Ivan Katalanic, Eric Martin and Paul Jones got a mention as did Kevin Miller for his seven game unbeaten run as keeper in 2006. Unfortunately not one person voted for Dexter Blackstock for his ten minute cameo against Newcastle in 2006.

So, in the eyes of the Saints tweeters, Antti Niemi is the true Southampton Number One. Do you agree? Should anyone else that played between the sticks have got a mention? Let me know.

Keep an eye out for more Twitter player votes in the near future!


2 thoughts on “Shilton or Flowers or Niemi or Davis?”

  1. Following the success of my first ‘article’, I feel able to share a very important moment with you. At the start of my first full season, Saints played a friendly at Bristol Rovers — winning 7-1 I believe with Ron Davies scoring at least 4 possibly more. I had persuaded my parents to take myself and my mate Dickie there so we we were full of the joys on the way home.Sadly, my mother’s half time cup of tea had travelled its circuitous route and after about ten minutes travel, we were forced to seek a wayside inn for her to find a powder room.
    The pub we stopped at was a bit isolated, and no cars decorated the car park – with the exception of a large coach, Saints’ team bus! In the back were the die hards, most notably Eric Martin — chain smoking and playing poker — we, of course, ran on and garnered their autographs. In spite of their piratical appearance, they became heroes as all the others in Red and White. Long term Saints fans will remember Eric also for his routine at the end of the warm up. All the practice balls were booted towards the touchline where the bagman would collect them. Last of all was Eric’s ball and he would drop kick it to the touchline where bagman would open the sack and try and catch it. if successful the crowd went wild, if a failure, the bagman and Eric would exchange V signs. Ah, days of innocence.

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