Born: 4 August 1977, Lisbon, Portugal
Age in 2005: 28
Premier League Clubs: Arsenal (1997-99), Fulham (2000-07), West Ham United (2007-11)
Blazing a trail into English football for countrymen Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, and signing on the same day as now-forgotten names like Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars, Luís Boa Morte was snapped up by Arsenal from Sporting CP for £1.75m (and £1) in 1997.
The young winger was yet to make a professional appearance, but this did not put Wenger off and ‘Good Death’ was soon to make his debut for the Gunners.
After scoring two goals in a League Cup game against Birmingham, Boa Morte made his first Champions League appearance against Panathinaikos and scored Arsenal’s third goal of the night. ‘The Portuguese God in Greece’ seemed to be impressing Wenger, who was so happy with him he sold him to Southampton for a quite remarkable loss.
(Above: 'Good Death' almost getting some water in his mouth during a game for Fulham)
He instantly wowed Saints fans with his ‘draw-at-all-costs’ attitude, using his hand to stop a certain goal in only his second appearance on the south coast. Unfortunately, Paul Gascoigne stepped up for Middlesbrough and made it 3-2, but Boa Morte insisted from the touchline that he would have saved the England legend’s penalty.
In January 2000, the man Ian Wright sickeningly insists on referring to as ‘The Gaffer’ took charge at Southampton. This wasn’t good news for Luís though, as Glenn Hoddle dropped 'the Boa Constrictor' immediately before sending him out on loan to Championship side Fulham.
His lack of game time meant Arsenal never saw any of the appearance-based add-ons that had made up the deal either. Arséne would have to wait to get his hands on Amaury Bischoff.
(Above: A loving moment between Luís and fellow Premier League classic Kevin Doyle)
A star in Jean Tigana’s Championship-winning side the next season, 'Feather Boa' quickly won the hearts of Fulham fans everywhere in Fulham, and was signed permanently for their first campaign back in England’s top tier. During that season, this magnificent photograph was taken of him.
He flourished at Craven Cottage, earning their ‘Player of the Season’ award for the 2004/05 campaign, at the end of which he gave both his shirt and shorts to a member of the crowd, who inexplicably turned down the chance to get his hands on Boa Morte’s ‘Buzz Lightyear’ underpants as well.
Luís’ finest performance for Fulham came in 2006, on MTV’s Cribs. The episode opens with a shot of the Portuguese star zooming his car into the drive and having to perform an emergency stop before hitting his garage. The viewer is then taken on a tour of the West London pad, and quickly learns that it includes a ‘reception room’ and an unprecedented four bathrooms.
(Above: Luís puts his hands to good use once more)
As aggressive pop-punk blasts through the television, the camera offers stylized close-ups of, amongst other things, his sofa, a picture of his family and some sort of strange, decorative wooden swans. It is while the dead-eyed ornaments stare down the lens that Boa Morte delivers one of the episode’s more hard-hitting lines: “This is my living room. It’s where we sit whenever I have family and friends over. I’m not in here much.”
Fans of Fulham adored Boa Morte. His aggressive style and truculent treatment of Premier League referees made him an imposing figure for any opposition. His 205 appearances and 27 goals are woven into the fabric of Premier League history.
Where is he now?
After helping Arsenal sign ‘Dat Guy' Park Chu Young, Boa Morte has become a member of Sunderland’s coaching staff.
What did he say?
"Wenger is like Che Guevara."