Farewell to Chris O’Grady

ogrady-leaves

After three years, 33 appearances and 3 goals it is a dark day for Brighton and Hove Albion as Chris O’Grady departs the club on a free transfer for League Two Chesterfield.

They were heady times when he arrived at the Amex in a blaze of glory in the summer 2014. It was the worst kept secret in the world that Leonardo Ulloa would be leaving for Leicester City. In what can only be described as a typical Albion cock up (number 23 on our ridiculous #BHAFC Twitter thread to be precise), David Burke more than lived up to his name by deciding that lower league journeyman O’Grady would be the perfect replacement for Ulloa.

Two years later Ulloa was a Premier League winner. Three years later, a Champions League Quarter Finalist. O’Grady meanwhile has been sent out on loan to Sheffield United, Nottingham Forest and Burton Albion, scoring a further four times. But it isn’t all bad news. Let’s remember the good times from our £500,000 signing.

“If O’Grady scores, we’re on the pitch”
Ah yes, the football supporters wonderful sense of irony. O’Grady was summoned from the bench away at Brentford in the FA Cup for Chris Hughton’s first game in charge. Such was the traveling faithfuls belief in the striker that the song of “If O’Grady scores, we’re on the pitch” got going loud and proud. Of course, he only went and bloody scored his first goal for the club. Even better was the sight of him waving the supporters onto the pitch as he celebrated. Something of a cult hero was born that day, partly as it looked as though he may be reinvigorated under a new manager. A goal followed in the next round against Arsenal at the Amex, followed by a penalty at Reading but that was that as far as him hitting the back of the net in the stripes went.

Realising he looks like The Rock
We love a good look-a-like and it is nothing short of shameful it took over six months to realise that Chris O’Grady could be former WWE Champion-turned-Hollywood star The Rock’s double. Unfortunately, by the time we saw the resemblance between The People’s Champion and The Barnsley’s Champion, it was all but irrelevant as Hughton was the latest man to realise he was crap and he was hardly seen again.

Causing a near-collision with the International Space Station
We’d already scored once from the penalty spot in a League Cup visit to Walsall in August 2015, Jake Forster-Caskey being cool, calm and collected to slot home from 12 yards. That was more than could be said for Chris O’Grady’s effort late in the second half with the Albion staring at an inglorious exit to lower league opponents. His penalty took a virtually vertical trajectory towards the M6 behind the away end and it showed no signs of stopping there, with rumours abounding that the International Space Station had to take evasive action to avoid a potentially catastrophic collision.

So yeah, that is about it actually. Thanks for the memories Chris, and good luck at Chesterfield. We’re fully expecting him to score 30 goals for the Spireites with the Albion buying him back next season as a Glenn Murray replacement. At least that will be another one for the Twitter list.

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