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Hans Segers (1961)

Hans Segers (October 30, 1961) was a goalkeeper who was mainly active in England. Was part of the legendary 'Crazy Gang', or Wimbledon.

Segers started his career at PSV, where he was active for four seasons, mainly as a reserve goalkeeper. In 1984 he was loaned to Nottingham Forest, this was in fact an exchange with Hans van Breukelen. He just returned from England, Forest was looking for a new keeper. Van Breukelen tipped the legendary trainer Brian Clough to take Segers.

One thing led to another, Segers first left on a rental basis to 'The Reds', where John Metgod also signed a contract at that time. After a few months, he secured his starting place, making his league debut against Coventry City in November. In 1985 he was taken over permanently, after which he was under contract with 'The Reds' until the summer. His last season he was loaned out to Sheffield United, Stoke City and Dunfermline.

In 1988 the Brabander signed a contract with Wimbledon. At the time, 'The Dons' had just won the FA Cup after a legendary final against Liverpool. Partly thanks to a great performance by his predecessor Dave Beasant, that match was won 1-0.

Wimbledon was nicknamed 'The Crazy Gang' in the 80s and 90s.It was an eccentric, cohesive and at times idiotic team with intimidation as its trademark. Players like Dennis Wise, Vinnie Jones and John Fashanu led the way in order to disrupt the opponents as much as possible and to scare them. That was combined with 'long strokes home quickly', or an unattractive playing style.

Gary Lineker once said: "The best way to watch Wimbledon is on Ceefax", or British teletext. It was the best way for the team to survive at the top of English football and achieve success. As mentioned, after an insane final in 1988, the FA Cup was won against Liverpool 1-0 in front of almost 100,000 supporters. In 1994, sixth place was even achieved in the Premier League, a record.

Segers was the permanent goalkeeper of this legendary company from 1988 to 1996 and played 265 games in the top division with the club. He turned out to be a constant player and made a name for himself, such as during the League Cup match against Liverpool in December 1993.In extra time, Segers stopped a penalty from John Barnes, during the penalty shootout he turned two more, qualifying his team for the quarterfinals.

Later at Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he was under contract between 1996 and 1998, he did it all over again. On March 16, 1998, he saved a crucial penalty from then-Leeds United player Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. 'The Wolves' had defended a 1-0 lead until then. It remained and Segers, 36 years old at the time and actually reserve goalkeeper, and his mates went through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

At that moment he could use that boost. In March 1995 he was arrested along with Bruce Grobbelaar and John Fashanu for allegedly influencing matches between 1991 and 1994. He was later acquitted of this. In his biography 'The Final Score' he looked back extensively on this black page in his life and how, thanks to his will and faith, he has survived this pitch-black period.

Segers ended his career with Tottenham Hotspur between 1998 and 2001 as a reserve goalkeeper. He played one more league game and ended his career a few months before his 40th birthday. The goalkeeper played a total of 326 games at the highest level in England. After his active career, Segers became goalkeeper coach at Tottenham Hotspur, PSV, Fulham, Eindhoven and RKC Waalwijk.

(Photo: ANP – Koen Suyk)

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