NICKNAMES only take a second to make up, but they can take a lifetime to shift.
For Grobbelaar, despite all his medals, all his triumph, there was always something which gnawed away at him. His reputation, in Britain at least, as 'a clown'.
More than 30 years after his Anfield debut, he can laugh about his moniker, but he has no doubts about who was responsible for it.
“I always blamed the Evertonians!” he says. “They invented the name 'clown' for me, and it stuck. They could have picked anything, but clown it was.”
He remembers: “It was in 1981, a derby match at Goodison and we were drawing 1-1 at half-time. As we waited to start the second half, three chaps came out of the Gwladys Street End dressed as jesters.
“They were carrying a picture of a clown, which they gave to me, and on it, it said ‘Bruce is a clown’. That label always stuck with me, right through my time at England.”
At least, in typical fashion, he would have the last laugh on the day.
“I put the picture, facing the Gwladys Street, against the fence, and we went on to win 3-1,” he says. “Sharpy hit one into the top corner in the second half, I caught it, turned and smiled at the Gwladys Street and cleared it. Some clown, eh?”