U may wonder why I'm writing about Pat Rice. I mean, its not his birthday or anything major like that! The reason I'm writing about him, is that I'm sure tomorrows game against Burnley will stir up memories for him. The reason being, is that Burnley are the team that Pat Rice made his debut for the Gunners against!
It was December 5th 1967, that Pat made his first apperance in an Arsenal shirt. The first of 528 apperances for the club! He was working at a greengrocers on Gillespie Road and joined the Gunners in 1964 as an appentice. He played as a right back and eventually became the club captain.
At Arsenal he won the Inter-Fairs cup in 1970 and was part of the double winning side of 1971. He appeared in FIVE FA-cup finals, winning two. He left Arsenal in 1980, moving down the road to Watford and played 137 times for the club, helping them to promotion. He retired as a player in 1984. He played 49 times for his country, Northern Ireland.
When he retired as a player he returned to Arsenal as a coach, and has remained here ever since. He was a coach for 12 years and even managed the side in September 1996 when then caretaker manager Stewart Houston quit the club. He even had a 100% record in the Premiership, winning three out of three games!! He lost one in the UEFA cup, at home to German club Borussia Monchengladbech. (Useless manager! Joking)
At the end of the month, a Mr Arsene Wenger, an unknown Frenchman took over the club and made Pat Rice his assistant manager. Pat has played a key role in the success at the club since the arrival of Wenger. And we have seen the best football played in the history of the club winning two doubles (1997/98 and 2001/02) an unbeaten season and a currant squad, which has the potential to better even those successes!!!
So here's to Pat Rice, Mr Arsenal, hope u remain as Wengers sidekick for many years to come!!
Keep it Goonerish.