Mark Bosnich

Mark Bosnich
Mark Bosnich
Mark Bosnich.jpg
Personal information
Full name Mark Bosnich
Date of birth 13 January 1972 (1972-01-13) (age 39)
Place of birth Fairfield, Sydney, Australia
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1988–1989 Sydney Croatia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1991 Manchester United 3 (0)
1991–1992 Sydney United 5 (0)
1992–1999 Aston Villa 227 (1)
1999–2001 Manchester United 35 (0)
2001–2003 Chelsea 7 (0)
2008 Central Coast Mariners 4 (0)
2009 Sydney Olympic 8 (0)
Total 289 (1)
National team
1991 Australia U20 6 (0)
1991–1992 Australia U23 6 (0)
1993–2000 Australia 17 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Mark Bosnich (born 13 January 1972) is a retired Australian football (soccer) player and football pundit. He represented Australia 17 times and played for English Premier League clubs Aston Villa, Manchester United and Chelsea.



Manchester United (1988–1991)

Bosnich was born and grew up in Fairfield, Sydney and attended Liverpool Boys High School.[citation needed] Bosnich played for Sydney Croatia youth team before moving to England. In 1988, at the age of 16, he moved to England to join Manchester United and made his debut for them in a First Division fixture against Wimbledon on 30 April 1990.

He only played two more games for the club before returning to Sydney Croatia briefly in 1991–92 season.[1] He returned to England signing for Aston Villa on a free transfer on 28 February 1992. During Bosnich's time at Old Trafford, Manchester United won the FA Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup, but he did not make the squad for either win.

Aston Villa (1992–1999)

Bosnich did not claim a regular place in the Aston Villa first team until the 1993–94 season. In the League Cup semi-final against Tranmere Rovers that season, he dramatically stopped three shots in a penalty shoot-out. He later admitted that he should have been sent off before extra-time began for fouling Tranmere's John Aldridge. Villa would go on to win the final, against his former club, Manchester United. 1994–95 was Bosnich's first full season as Villa's first-choice goalkeeper, but it was a hugely disappointing season for the club as they narrowly avoided relegation.

Bosnich was one of the few players to be retained by new manager Brian Little following Atkinson's dismissal in November 1994, as the bulk of Atkinson's team was sold off to make way for a new side. 1995–96 was perhaps the best season of Bosnich's career. He was now widely acclaimed as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, as he helped Villa finished fourth in the league and win the Football League Cup final at Wembley with a 3–0 triumph over Leeds United.

In 1996, Bosnich was fined £1,000 and censured by the FA after he was found guilty of misconduct by upsetting fans of Tottenham Hotspur (a club with a large Jewish following) with a Nazi salute.[2] Bosnich spent three more seasons at Villa Park before his contract expired and he joined Manchester United on a free transfer. He had played 227 times in seven-and-a-half years with the Midlanders.

Return to Manchester United (1999–2001)

Bosnich was signed for Manchester United in the 1999 close season as successor to Peter Schmeichel. During the season he picked up a Premier League title medal as United were crowned champions by an 18-point margin. He also played a key role in Manchester United becoming the first English team to win the Toyota World Club Championship in keeping a clean sheet against Palmeiras of Brazil, in Tokyo, during the 1999 Intercontinental Cup.

He had a short stint as first choice goalkeeper for Manchester United as they signed the French World Cup winning goalkeeper, Fabien Barthez, in the 2000 close season. Soon after Bosnich found himself as third-choice goalkeeper. Newly-appointed Celtic manager Martin O'Neill made an offer to loan Bosnich for the 2000–01 season, but he decided against the move and decided that he would try and regain his place in the Manchester United first team. He had also fallen out of favour with the national side, losing his spot to Mark Schwarzer.

Chelsea (2001–2002)

Bosnich never played a first-team game for United after the arrival of Fabien Barthez, and on 18 January 2001 he signed for Chelsea on a free transfer. Problems with his fitness and injury meant his debut did not happen until the following season. Bosnich was earning A$130,000-a-week (approximately £45,500-a-week) at Chelsea.[3] His football career reached rock-bottom in September 2002 when he failed a drugs test and was subsequently sacked by Chelsea and banned from football for nine months – the longest suspension given to a player in English football to date.[4]

Exile and return (2002–2007)

The suspension scuppered a move to Bolton Wanderers in the newly-introduced winter transfer window. Bosnich was keen on the idea of moving to the Reebok Stadium and the player's agent admitted that dialogue had taken place but Sam Allardyce remained coy about his interest. In the autumn of 2004, he spurned an opportunity to return to football with League One side, Walsall, who were then managed by Paul Merson, who had played alongside Bosnich in his final season at Aston Villa. Later speculation linked him with a return to football with Conference side Grays Athletic.

Bosnich developed a $5,000-a-week cocaine addiction and became a recluse.[5][6] Bosnich snorted up to 6 g (0.21 oz) of cocaine a day. At one stage, he almost shot his father with an air rifle, thinking it was an intruder in his home. His father convinced him to kick the drugs.[7][8] In early 2007, former Chelsea team-mate and QPR goalkeeping coach Ed de Goey gave him inspiration to come out of retirement. By July 2007, Bosnich started training at Queens Park Rangers' training ground in an attempt to initially get fit, with the view to play professionally again.[9] During the summer he lost 15 kg (33 lb) and claimed to have regained most of his reflexes. In September he kept a clean sheet in goal during a friendly behind closed doors against Barnet, which QPR won 2–0.[10]


Bosnich returned to Australia in 2008 after many years living in London.[11][12] Bosnich was confirmed to be the starting goalkeeper for the Central Coast Mariners for their pre-season cup game against Sydney FC on 27 July 2008.[13] Bosnich kept a clean sheet including saving a penalty by Sydney FC's Steve Corica before being substituted in the 80th minute to a standing ovation by both sets of supporters. On 19 August 2008, Bosnich signed a seven-week guest player deal with the Mariners.[14]

Bosnich made his A-League debut with the Central Coast Mariners on 31 August 2008 in a 4–2 away win against the Queensland Roar at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Once Mariners first-choice goalkeeper Danny Vukovic had served his suspension, Bosnich did not play again for the Mariners. On 31 May 2009, it was announced that Bosnich had signed to play for Sydney Olympic for the remainder of the NSW Premier League season.[15]

Bosnich suffered a hamstring injury and he ended his playing career to focus on his television commitments.[16] On 22 October 2010, it was confirmed Bosnich would temporarily join the North Queensland Fury as an interim coach for the fixture against Newcastle Jets, in the absence of Franz Straka and Stuart McLaren, who had been banned from the touchline for two games.[17] However, Bosnich was not allowed by the FFA because he did not have a coaching license.

International career

His first appearance with the national team came in 1990 against touring USSR club side Torpedo, followed by a number of further appearances in 'unofficial' Socceroos matches in the next few years. His first full international appearance came in 1993 against New Zealand in a qualifying match for the 1994 World Cup. Bosnich also appeared for the Socceroos at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Although his international appearances with the Socceroos were rare, they were memorable occasions. Keeping for Australia in the away leg of its home-and-away qualifier with Iran in a failed attempt to qualify for the 1998 World Cup, Australia losing on away goals in what Bosnich described as "the lowest moment in Australian football". Bosnich also scored a late penalty for his national team in a 13–0 win over the Solomon Islands. He admitted that he was hopeful of selection for Australia to make up for the times he shunned it in favour of his club commitments. "If I ever get the chance to play for Australia again, I will never make the mistake of saying 'no'." [18]

Personal life

Bosnich married for the first time in 1992, to an English woman named Lisa Hall. The wedding took place in Sydney, New South Wales, in February. It was rumoured that Bosnich married Hall in order to be able to return to Britain, after problems with his working visa. After two years of marriage, Home Office officials were satisfied it was not a wedding of convenience and Bosnich was allowed to remain indefinitely in Britain. However, the marriage ended just three months later. According to Bosnich, "We were in love but our marriage just didn't work out."[19] His second marriage was to Sarah Jarrett, in 1999. He almost failed to reach the altar, having only been released on bail hours before the wedding following an incident at a strip club during his stag night celebrations.[20]

The marriage lasted only 14 months. Jarrett was pregnant at the time of the divorce, but she lost the baby soon afterwards, in the third month of pregnancy.[21] Bosnich admitted that much of his cocaine problem was due to his relationship with British model Sophie Anderton, claiming that for every line she had, he had to have one too. He does not regret his actions however, crediting them with being able to help someone in need.[22] His addiction worsened and he later said, "There was a stage where I got up to 10 grams a day when I was really down in the dumps." On 16 July 2008, he was made bankrupt at the High Court in London on the petition of a creditor.[23]

Bosnich provided special comments for the Socceroos' friendly with Nigeria on 17 November alongside Simon Hill on Australia's Fox Sports and subsequently on SBS' coverage of the 2008 FA Cup final. Bosnich is now a football analyst and commentator for Fox Sports football programmes. He also works as a player agent. Bosnich trains at Kostya Tszyu's Boxing Academy in Rockdale.[24] Bosnich lived with his parents in Fairfield when he returned to Australia and now lives in Wooloomooloo with his partner Sarah Jones.[25][26]

Career statistics


Club performance League Cup Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England League FA Cup Total
1989–90 Manchester United First Division 1 0
1990–91 2 0
Australia League Cup Total
1991–92 Sydney Croatia NSL 5 0
England League FA Cup Total
1991–92 Aston Villa First Division 1 0
1992–93 Premier League 17 0
1993–94 28 0
1994–95 30 0
1995–96 38 0
1996–97 20 0
1997–98 30 0
1998–99 15 0
1999–2000 Manchester United Premier League 23 0
2000–01 0 0
2000–01 Chelsea Premier League 0 0
2001–02 5 0
2002–03 0 0
Australia League Cup Total
2008–09 Central Coast Mariners A-League 4 0
Total England 210 0
Australia 9 0
Career total 219 0


# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 30 May 1993 Auckland, New Zealand  New Zealand 1–0 Win 1994 World Cup qualifying
2 6 June 1993 Melbourne, Australia  New Zealand 3–0 Win 1994 World Cup qualifying
3 31 October 1993 Sydney, Australia  Argentina 1–1 Draw 1994 World Cup qualifying
4 27 March 1996 Glasgow, Scotland  Scotland 0–1 Loss Friendly
5 24 April 1996 Antofagasta, Chile  Chile 0–3 Loss Friendly
6 12 March 1997 Skopje, Macedonia  Macedonia 1–0 Win Friendly
7 11 June 1997 Sydney, Australia  Solomon Islands 13–0 Win 1998 World Cup qualifying
8 19 June 1997 Sydney, Australia  Tahiti 2–0 Win 1998 World Cup qualifying
9 28 June 1997 Auckland, New Zealand  New Zealand 3–0 Win 1998 World Cup qualifying
10 6 July 1997 Sydney, Australia  New Zealand 2–0 Win 1998 World Cup qualifying
11 22 November 1997 Tehran, Iran  Iran 1–1 Draw 1998 World Cup qualifying
12 29 November 1997 Melbourne, Australia  Iran 2–2 Draw 1998 World Cup qualifying
13 14 December 1997 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  Brazil 0–0 Draw 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup
14 16 December 1997 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  Saudi Arabia 0–1 Loss 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup
15 19 December 1997 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  Uruguay 1–0 Win 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup
16 21 December 1997 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  Brazil 0–6 Loss 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup
17 23 February 2000 Budapest, Hungary  Hungary 3–0 Win Friendly
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 11 June 1997 Sydney, Australia  Solomon Islands 13–0 Win 1998 World Cup qualifying



Aston Villa
Manchester United



  1. ^ "Australian Player Database". Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Silver, Neil (13 October 1996). "I'M SORRY!; Bosnich in Nazi fury". Sunday Mirror. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Green, Nick (3 October 2004). "Triumph and despair". The Guardian (London).,,1315427,00.html. Retrieved 5 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Bosnich admits cocaine addiction". The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 August 2003. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Bosnich admits cocaine addiction". The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 August 2003. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "One Last Shot". Fox Sports. 4 October 2007.,8659,22529773-23215,00.html. Retrieved 20 September 2008. 
  10. ^ "Bosnich back for one more go". Fox Sports. 27 September 2007.,8659,22488756-23215,00.html. Retrieved 20 September 2008. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Bosnich confirmed to make debut". Fox Sports. 25 July 2008.,8659,24077074-23215,00.html. Retrieved 20 September 2008. 
  14. ^ "Mark Bosnich signs seven-game deal with Central Coast". HeraldSun - 21 August 2008.,21985,24214027-11088,00.html?from=public_rss. Retrieved 20 September 2008. [dead link]
  15. ^ "IT'S OFFICIAL: MARK BOSNICH SIGNS WITH SYDNEY OLYMPIC". Sydney Olympic Official Website. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2009. [dead link]
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ SBS The World Game - Bosnich targets comeback
  19. ^ Buckwell, Andy (29 March 1998). "My girl married a foreign soccer star. It only broke her heart". Sunday Mirror. 
  20. ^ "Bailed Bosnich in church on time". BBC News. 4 June 1999. Retrieved 5 April 2010. 
  21. ^ Ellam, Dennis (14 April 2002). "I do hope Dani Behr is as happy with Mark as I am with my pounds 80". Sunday Mirror. 
  22. ^ "Bosnich opens up about cocaine problem". The Sydney Morning Herald. 15 November 2004. 
  23. ^
  24. ^,8659,27534798-5019516,00.html
  25. ^
  26. ^

External links

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