Photo: FC Barcelona

The footballing world lost a legend today with the sad passing of Radomir (Raddy) Antić at the age of 71. Antić was one of only two men to manage both Barcelona and Real Madrid, having limited success with both despite short tenures.

At Barcelona, he gave debuts to players who would become synonymous with the club like Víctor Valdés and Andrés Iniesta, while at Real Madrid he was a driving force behind Fernando Hierro’s growth into a world class player.

For me, though he’ll always be remembered as the 1983 hero who scored the goal to keep Luton in the top flight of English football and send their opponents on the day Manchester City down to the second tier.

I was nine months old at the time so my first hand knowledge of the event is cloudy. However, thanks to technology like YouTube and content creators like LUTONVIDS I have been able to relive it more times than I care to remember.

The ball into the box from Brian Stein. The half clearance by City. Then the cool calm and collected finish from the Serbian substitute. It’s like I was there.

Of course every Luton fan will remember the celebrations of manager David Pleat at the final whistle more than the goal itself, but Antić’s strike remains to this day one of my top ten favorite Luton Town moments. David Pleat’s run onto the pitch at the final whistle will long live in football folklore, but Antić’s goal will long live in Luton hearts.

Raddy played 108 games for Luton and retired after the 1983/84 season at the age of 36 to concentrate on coaching. Along with Barcelona and Real Madrid he also managed Atlético Madrid, Real Zaragoza and the Serbian national team, to name a few.

Thank you for the memories Raddy and may you Rest In Peace.

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