Search

New Year Honours: Arsenal boss hails former assistant Rice

09:12 29 December 2012

Former Arsenal assistant Pat Rice (left) with manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: John Walton/EMPICS

Former Arsenal assistant Pat Rice (left) with manager Arsene Wenger. Photo: John Walton/EMPICS

EMPICS Sport

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger paid tribute to former assistant Pat Rice as “someone you could go to war with” after it was announced the long-serving Gunner has been awarded an MBE.

Rice made more than 400 appearances for Arsenal, helping the club win their first league and FA Cup double in 1970-71, while he also won 49 caps for Northern Ireland.

Following his retirement from playing after a spell at Watford in 1984, Rice became a coach with the Gunners and then assistant to Wenger when he was appointed manager in 1996.

Rice, 63, played a part in two more doubles and the unbeaten league season of 2003-04 before announcing his retirement at the end of last season 48 years after first joining Arsenal.

Wenger said: “I am absolutely delighted because if someone deserves it, it’s Pat Rice.

“He had 100 per cent genuine commitment every day and you respect that when you see that from somebody, and he is someone you could go to war with. You would love to be in the trenches with Pat and those are very difficult qualities to find in modern society.”

Rice greeted the news with shock and joy, saying: “I’m delighted and honoured to be receiving an MBE. The news of the award came as a complete surprise and I’m just so flattered to be included in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

“Football and Arsenal have been my life and I have so many fantastic memories during my career. I have been lucky to have played and worked with so many great individuals, and through hard work I have enjoyed some success along the way.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me throughout my career, and importantly, a special thank you to all my family, who have always been there for me and supported me throughout my career.”

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Per Mertesacker of Arsenal   (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger admits defender Per Mertesacker is a doubt to face Chelsea next Sunday after hurting his ankle against Reading this evening.

Yesterday, 07:15
Brian Talbot (4) scores Arsenal's first goal in the 1979 FA Cup final

Former Arsenal FA Cup winner Brian Talbot has urged the holders on to further Wembley glory – starting with a comprehensive win over Reading on Saturday.

Thu, 13:09
Middlesex bowler Tom Helm. Pic: TGSPHOTO

Fast bowler Tom Helm believes this is the year for him to lose the ‘promising youngster’ tag at Middlesex.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Glen Moray whiskey could be winging its way to you.

The Glen Moray Classic is a classic Speyside single malt and forms the starting point for the Classic Range.

Seasons 1-4 on Blu-ray, as well as a shiny new Sony Blu-ray player could be coming your way!

To celebrate the fifth series of George RR Martin and HBO’s epic fantasy Game of Thrones, Ladbrokes is giving away a series one to four Blu-ray box set along with a Sony Blu-ray player to one lucky winner!

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder