Sunday, October 31, 2010

Focus On : Tony Adams Captain Fantastic

  Tony Adams, the great servant of Arsenal Football Club, is the only player to captain a championship-winning side in three different decades. Twice, in 1997-98 and 2001-02, Adams led his team to the Double. 'An exceptional player who is highly respected because of his commitment,' Arsene Wenger said. Adams lifted the championship trophy for the first time in 1988-89 after being appointed the club's youngest-ever captain at the age of 21. 'He is my sergeant-major on the pitch,' George Graham said. A colossus.' Over a period of 19 years Adams played 421 League games at the heart of the Arsenal defence. A cult hero at Highbury, tickets for his testimonial sold out in two days. He also played 66 times for England, including 15 appearances as captain. David Seaman, the Arsenal and England goalkeeper, said: 'He is a born leader and there's not many of those around.' Off the field, however, an increasing dependence on alcohol blighted his private life, leading to a prison sentence for drink-driving in 1991. He publicly admitted his health problems in 1996 and set about establishing a charity to help players suffering addiction. Perhaps the most telling compliment from a fellow professional came from Alex Ferguson, the manager of fierce rivals Manchester United: T can't wait for him to retire,' Ferguson wrote in 1999. 'He is the defining spirit of their team, a classic English defender - brave, reliable and capable not only of fulfilling his own responsibilities superbly but of organising and inspiring others,' Ferguson said. 'No one can be surprised at Arsenal's success while they still have him around.' Bob Wilson, a member of the Double-winning side of 1971, said: 'The greatest of all Arsenal men, as simple as that.'

Featuring a profile on footballer Tony Adams. Includes football action from Arsenal.

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