Search

In pictures: Dennis Bergkamp statue unveiled as legend states desire for Arsenal return

13:55 22 February 2014

A statue of Dennis Bergkamp unveiled at the Emirates Stadium. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

A statue of Dennis Bergkamp unveiled at the Emirates Stadium. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

PA Wire

Dennis Bergkamp paid an emotional tribute to his former Arsenal team-mates and family as he was immortalised with a bronze statue outside the Emirates Stadium - and hopes one day to return to the club.

Former Arsenal player Dennis Bergkamp waits to unveil a statue of himself at the Emirates Stadium. Photo: Adam Davy/PA WireFormer Arsenal player Dennis Bergkamp waits to unveil a statue of himself at the Emirates Stadium. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

The Dutchman was honoured with a permanent tribute outside the Clock End, following along from those for other Arsenal legends such as former manager Herbert Chapman, captain Tony Adams and club-record goalscorer Thierry Henry.

Bergkamp joined Arsenal from Inter Milan in June 1995, and went on to play more than 400 games for the Gunners, scoring 120 goals. The Holland forward helped win seven major trophies with Arsene Wenger’s side, including the ‘Invincibles’ Premier League campaign of 2003/2004.

Hundreds of Arsenal supporters turned out to welcome the 44-year-old back to London, as long-serving club director Ken Friar marked the official unveiling of the statue.

“I spoke to Thierry Henry last night and he warned me about this moment, he said ‘you will be fine until you have to talk a little bit, and you will be emotional’, that happens to me now,” said Bergkamp.

A statue of Dennis Bergkamp unveiled at the Emirates Stadium. Photo: Adam Davy/PA WireA statue of Dennis Bergkamp unveiled at the Emirates Stadium. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

“All this makes you realise how many good years we had here and how big this club has become over the last 20 years. I was just happy to play a role in that.

“You all see me as a team player, and there is only one statue of me, but I believe it is part of a whole team that I was involved in which made me shine.

“When you think of that team, it is not only the quality players around you, it is the fantastic manager, the staff around the club.

“I would like to thank my friends and family as well, they have been there from the beginning in my career - thank you to Henrita, my wife. We made this adventure together and have four beautiful children who were all born in England.

A statue of Dennis Bergkamp after being unveiled at the Emirates Stadium. Photo: Adam Davy/PA WireA statue of Dennis Bergkamp after being unveiled at the Emirates Stadium. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

“Last but not least, I had a very good relationship with the fans. You were very patient with me.

“In the first six or seven games of my career, a lot of people spoke about that, is he good or not? Can he do it? We had some comments from chairmen of other clubs in London, I won’t mention the name!

“We proved them all wrong and are where we are now, and it is all down to the fans because you had belief in me, in the team, so this is how it ends with a beautiful statue.”

Bergkamp has just started out on his coaching career at his boyhood club Ajax in Amsterdam, but in the long term would relish the opportunity to return to Arsenal.

He said: “I would, definitely. I have just started my career at Ajax as an assistant coach, being part of the Ajax philosophy, trying to get players through the system.

“We just started that, so I don’t think now is the time to leave that aside and do something else, but in the future I would love to come to this country, to this league and this club especially.”

Bergkamp feels Wenger’s current squad can mount a serious title challenge in 2014.

He said: “I have been watching Arsenal for many years, and this season they are really [much] stronger than the last seasons.

“They can challenge for the title, but the upcoming weeks are very important for them.”

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Hampstead celebrate after winning the Middlesex County League title for the second time in three seasons

Hampstead are celebrating after winning the Middlesex County League title in the year of their 150th anniversary.

38 minutes ago
Will Vanderspar enjoyed a fine all-round display for North Middlesex. Pic: Max Flego

North Middlesex ended their four-game losing streak in style, beating second-placed Richmond by eight wickets and deciding the title battle in the process.

Alex Pritchard in action for England Under-21s

EXCLUSIVE: Alex Pritchard was pleased to make his return from injury and get his first appearance under Mauricio Pochettino against Everton on Saturday.

Eric Dier:

Tottenham’s Eric Dier has been pleased with his performances in his new role as a holding midfielder, but he admits he doesn’t know if Mauricio Pochettino will continue to play him there.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder