There is bad then there is Paul Rachubka – the man Leeds fans voted their worst ever player.
Support football long enough and you will come across players who you, as a fan, genuinely have no idea how they made it as a professional football. How they passed through the many gruelling stages of football development to “make it” and become the fruits of your hard earned cash and time. Players who genuinely look like they have won the professional experience off the back of an old cereal box, were mistaken for their twin brother, or some other freak accident, stroke of luck or misjudgement. Who would struggle to establish themselves in a Sunday league side, never mind the lofty heights on the English Football League and above.
Former Leeds United stopper Paul Rachubka is one such man. A disgrace to the name professional and about as a useful as an ashtray on a motorbike, Rachubka landed himself a contract with the Yorkshire giants in the summer of 2011 after his contract expired at Blackpool.
Genuinely, what is there to say about Rachubka other than being absolutely awful? Fans may or may not remember a certain day in 2011 – depending on how good they are at suppressing unpleasant memories – when the American-born stopped suffered the ultimate humiliation, being subbed off.
Leeds United shipped five goals that day thanks to their lummox between the sticks. Including a truly cringe-worthy attempt to collect a very simple floated cross into the box. He flapped at the ball, caught it (which is amazing in itself) and then drop into the path of a Blackpool forward, whose goal-bound shot was only kept out by Tom Lees’ arm.
The defender was sent off and Newcastle man Jonjo Shelvey converted from the spot.
Rachubka was so bad fans have even identified him as the worst player to have ever represented their club in a vote conducted by football magazine FourFourTwo (via Football Insider).
After conceding nine goals in seven appearances for Leeds, the last of his pitiful appearances coming against Blackpool, he moved on to then League One outside Oldham where he managed 39 appearances, conceding 40 times and keeping 13 clean sheets in two years.
Amazingly, Rachubka moved to Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters in 2017, the 18th club of his up and down career, and won a Player of the Month award, having conceded just one goal in his opening three games.
Redemption? We think not.
At 37-years-of-age, Rachubka is currently without a club having left India in 2018. Any takers?
Leeds United fans, what are your standout memories of Paul Rachubka? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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