Football

Arsenal legend diagnosed with cancer

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Former Arsenal full-back and assistant manager Pat Rice who served the North London club for 44 years has been admitted to hospital with cancer.

Rice spent almost the entirety of his professional career with the Gunners by making 528 appearances in 14 seasons - after joining the club in 1966 from the youth team and went on to win the league and FA Cup double in 1971.

An Arsenal spokesman told the Daily Mirror: "Our thoughts are with Pat and his family. Everyone at Arsenal sends him our best wishes."

In his later career he was made club captain in 1977 and led his side to 1977 FA Cup success over Manchester United, whilst also being only one of three Arsenal players alongside David Seaman and Ray Parlour to have featured in five FA Cup finals. 

He also became a regular for Northern Ireland and made 49 appearances between 1968-1979 for the Green and White Army.

Following a four year playing spell with Watford he returned to the club where he kicked off his career by becoming a youth team coach before emerging as Arsene Wenger's right hand man when the frenchman took over from George Graham in 1996.

After 16 years which saw Arsenal win three Premier League titles and four FA Cup honours he retired from his post at the end of the 2011-2012 season at the age of 63.

He was deservedly awarded the MBE for services to sport in the New Years Honours list for 2013.

When Rice took the decision to leave the club Wenger said: "Pat is a true Arsenal legend and has committed almost his whole life to Arsenal Football Club, which shows huge loyalty and devotion.

"I will always be indebted to him for his expert insight."


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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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