James Martin Beglin was a talented full back with Liverpool F.C. during their historic "double" year of 1986 whose career was cruelly cut short by injury.
Beglin was the last signing made by legendary Liverpool manager Bob Paisley when he joined from Shamrock Rovers F.C. for just £20,000 in May 1983. With Rovers he had already played in Europe in the UEFA Cup scoring once . He was gradually introduced to the first team picture over the next 18 months by Joe Fagan, before being given regular games in the left back slot by Kenny Dalglish as a replacement for Alan Kennedy. He actually made his debut in the left sided midfield position on 10 November 1984 in the 1-1 league draw with Southampton at Anfield, he scored his first goal for the club 5 months later on 10 April 1985 in the 4-0 European Cup Semi-final 1st leg victory over Greek side Panathinaikos at Anfield, Beglin's 85th minute strike put the tie out of the reach of the Greek club, Liverpool won the second leg 1-0 to set up a final showdown with Italian giants Juventus at the Heysel Stadium Belgium. Unfortunately, hooligans rioted before the beginning of the game causing a retaining wall collapse killing 39, mainly, Juve supporters, the game went ahead although you could see that the players, including Beglin, were wishing they were elsewhere.
In his first season he established himself as a competent and confident, forward-thinking full back, Liverpool won the League championship and FA Cup, pipping Merseyside rivals Everton to both, with Beglin picking up medals for each. He also began playing for the Republic of Ireland, picking up the first of 15 caps.
Then it all went horribly wrong for Beglin. In a derby League Cup tie against Everton in early 1987, he went into a fairly straightforward 50-50 tackle with full back Gary Stevens and suffered a horrific leg break. Though the injury was very serious, nobody - including Beglin himself - blamed Stevens, with the watching football world accepting that the tackle was fair and without malice and Beglin was just extremely unlucky. However, at the time, Liverpool's Alan Hansen described the tackle as "a foot high and an hour late".
Liverpool reached the final of that competition - they lost 2-1 to Arsenal F.C. - but Beglin could do no more than watch as he tried to recuperate from the injury. Dalglish had reshuffled his defence to cater for his absence, moving Steve Nicol across to the left flank and introducing new signing Barry Venison. As Beglin hoped to make progress the next season, local lad Gary Ablett came through the ranks to take the left back slot. Beglin tried to make a comeback in the Liverpool reserve team but only succeeded in damaging cartilages in his knee. His days at Anfield were over.
In the June 1989 after 98 appearances for the Reds he joined Leeds United F.C. but his form and fitness, not to mention the health of his leg, was never quite the same and he sadly quit playing at the age of 27.
Beglin is now a pundit on the game, currently for RTÉ on coverage of F.A. Premier League, UEFA Champions League matches and Republic of Ireland internationals. He also works for ITV television in the U.K. He has also been employed by Liverpool as a voice-over artist for the club's official DVD and video releases.
courtesy wikipedia encyclopedia