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Pat Rice to leave Arsenal after 44 years at Club

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Arsenal Assistant Manager Pat Rice is to leave the Club at the end of the season after a 44-year association with the Gunners.

Rice has a rich history with Arsenal Football Club, having first joined as a youth team player back in 1964. A Northern Ireland international right-back, he was a ‘double’ winner in 1971 and captained the side to FA Cup glory in 1979. In total, Rice made 528 appearances for Arsenal across 14 seasons.

After a spell with Watford between 1980 - 1984, Rice returned to Arsenal as a Youth Team Coach, winning two FA Youth Cups in 1988 and 1994. He took up a senior coaching role when Arsène Wenger joined in 1996.

As Assistant Manager, Rice, 63, has been Arsène Wenger’s right-hand man, helping to guide the Club to seven major honours - three Premier League titles and four FA Cups, including two ‘doubles’ in 1998 and 2002.

Arsène 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 to this Club.

“Pat has been amazing for me over the past 16 years. When I first arrived at Arsenal, Pat was always there and taught me so much about this great club. I will always be indebted to him for his expert insight into Arsenal and football as a whole. On the training pitches and on matchdays, Pat has always been a passionate, loyal and insightful colleague, who we will all miss.

“Thank you Pat, we’ll miss you and all of us wish you and your family the best of health and happiness for the future. Although, we’ll still see Pat a lot, as I know he’s planning to come to all the home matches as a supporter!”

Pat, whose last match as Assistant Manager will be this Sunday against West Brom, last night enjoyed a farewell barbeque with Wenger and the first team squad.

An announcement on his successor will be made in due course.

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S.Bould is succesor?

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S.Bould is succesor?

Yeah

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Thank you Pat, Think Wenger was a bit harsh making him stay that extra year enjoy your retirment old boy

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Wenger said: 'I always want to give a chance to people who know how we coach. Steve is a very good coach and brings a continuation of our philosophy.'

Reserve team manager Neil Banfield is also set for promotion and will be new first-team coach.

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Wenger said: 'I always want to give a chance to people who know how we coach. Steve is a very good coach and brings a continuation of our philosophy.'

Reserve team manager Neil Banfield is also set for promotion and will be new first-team coach.

o. i see.

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Cheers Pat, Cup winning captain in his day aswell I believe.

Yh just read op, 44 years great service to the club.

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44 years, that's amazing.

sh*t coach but deserved to be there through loyalty.

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Pat deserves nothing but respect and the biggest thank you from every Gooner, legend.

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Pat, unfortunately you are going and we will not see each other anymore on a daily basis. It is very sad, but I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for having been a competent, loyal partner and a great fighter. We have done great things together, but I know that without you we would not have done them. Forever in my heart you will always be one of the great guys I have met in my life. Football allows that and hopefully you can come to Arsenal again and we will maybe share, not a great game, but a great glass of wine together. Have a good time.

Arsène Wenger

Pat, I am sorry to hear you are leaving. I am really happy I met you at this Club, I learnt a lot from you, especially with you being a defender who played for Arsenal as well. I learnt a lot of defensive skills from you, and I know that was really important. I'm very happy you were here as the assistant manager, and I wish you well for the future.

Thomas Vermaelen

There are certain people who embody the club so perfectly that it's impossible to know if the Club created them or if they created the Club. The moment I met him, I knew that Pat Rice was Arsenal and Arsenal was Pat Rice. In my mind, there is no higher compliment.

Ivan Gazidis

Pat, I wish you all the very best and thank you for everything you have done for this amazing Club. I will take you right back to when I was an amateur school teacher and you were there as this not-too-clever full back. We used to train on a Thursday evening and Charlie George was there and I don't think you and I ever thought we would reach the heights we reached. We spent so much time on and off the field together, as well as with your lovely family. It has been a fantastic journey for you and for me and we all definitely owe it to Arsenal. I know you feel as much about this Club as I do. All the best to you and to Betty.

Bob Wilson

Hi Pat, I am very sad to see you go. Every morning I will miss that 10 minutes before training starts when you come into the dressing room and shout at us! I enjoyed working with you for all the time I have been here and the whole team will miss you. Thank you, and all the best.

Tomas Rosicky

Pat, it's been a long time since I was at the Club but when I was you were a youth-team coach but you have put in the miles, put in the hours and I wish you a very happy retirement. All the very best.

Alan Smith

Pat, it only seems like yesterday when we had to search around the old Highbury at the end of a working day to make sure you weren't training, having sneaked in from down the road! From that day forth I could never get rid of you, because I had you in the Northern Ireland team and here at Arsenal as well. They were wonderful days and you are a magnificent servant to the Club and a true skipper in my time, for which I thank you for all of your efforts. Well done, Pat, enjoy.

Terry Neill

Pat, I just want to thank you for what you have done in my career so far. I have had such a great time here working with you and I wish you all the best for the future. It will definitely be a bit quieter around the training ground without you, but once again thanks very much for all you have done. Remember, can't ask, can't play!

Aaron Ramsey

Pat, I just think it is absolutely amazing the service you have given this fantastic Club. Well done, enjoy your retirement and I'm sure you and Betty will have a super time - enjoy the south of Spain! From an Arsenal man, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the service that you have given this Club. Well done, and God bless.

Tony Adams

Pat, it is a real pity you are retiring because you mean a lot to the Club. You have been a fantastic player there, a fantastic coach and assistant. It was a pleasure to work with you. Sometimes I gave you a bad time, but I hope you were okay with that! I found it fantastic to work with you and I wish you well for the rest of your life. Good luck with everything you do, thanks again.

Dennis Bergkamp

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Arsène Wenger has hailed Steve Bould’s quality after promoting him to his backroom staff in place of the retiring Pat Rice.

The 49-year-old has been a major success as manager of Arsenal’s Under-18s, earning plaudits from both inside and outside the Club.

And Wenger says he has no doubt that Bould will fit seamlessly into the first-team set-up.

“His qualities are that he has experience of the top-level game, he has managed here, he knows our football philosophy and therefore there will be a continuity,” he said.

“He has also chosen after his playing career to coach here at the Club and we always want to give an advantage to people who know how we work, how we want to coach.

“A very good coach is the most important thing, no matter where you played.”

* A full statement on the backroom changes at Arsenal will follow in due course.

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:lol:

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*salutes*

/

reckon bould will be wengers replacement when he leaves

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The year 1964 was special in so many ways. The Beatles made their mark on the music industry. The Great Train Robbers were convicted and sentenced to 307 years in jail, and a young Irishman walked through the marble halls at Highbury seeking a trial, the first steps on what turned out to be a marvellous career. A momentous time indeed.

That man was Pat Rice. Born on St Patrick's Day, 1949 in Belfast, Pat moved with his family to London, attended school in the borough and earned pocket money by helping out in a greengrocer's shop in Gillespie Road, a mere stone's throw from the stadium.

He went on to become one of the legendary players who have represented Arsenal, winning a number of trophies on the way. He was a member of the 1970/71 league and FA Cup Double side, the first time in the Club's long history that this had been achieved.

But enough about his playing career. That is there for all to see. Behind those magnificent achievements is Pat Rice, the man. Humble, understated and never seeking the limelight, he is an example for us all to follow.

He has worked under many managers, all of whom have benefited from that experience, and his contribution cannot be over-estimated. He is loved by all of us who have had the privilege of working with him. Although I know that he will miss the day-to-day involvement, one thing that we can be certain of is that Pat's love of "his Club" will remain with him, and I am certain that the relationship that we have enjoyed for the last 48 years will continue for many years to come.

Pat, no-one has earned their retirement more than you and to your wife, Betty, your son, Stephen, and your daughter, Kelly, and the family, may I offer you, on behalf of us all, our sincere wishes and profound thanks for your immense service and contribution to what makes Arsenal great.

Ken Friar

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Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that Pat Rice has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

 

Rice, who left his role as assistant manager at the end of last season after a 44-year association with Arsenal, is to receive an MBE in the New Year as a result of his services to sport.

 

Rice has a rich history with Arsenal Football Club, having first joined as a youth team player back in 1964. A Northern Ireland international right back, he was a Double winner in 1971 and captained the side to FA Cup glory in 1979. In total, he made 528 appearances for Arsenal across 14 seasons.

 

After a spell with Watford between 1980 and 1984, Rice returned to Arsenal as a youth team coach, winning two FA Youth Cups in 1988 and 1994. He took up a senior coaching role as assistant manager when Arsène Wenger joined in 1996. In this role, he helped guide the Club to seven major honours, including Doubles in 1998 and 2002, three Premier League titles and four FA Cups.

 

Rice said: “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.

 

“It has been a privilege to have represented Arsenal Football Club for more than forty years, a great club with great values. I am also proud to have represented my country on many occasions, and also a special mention to Watford Football Club, who I enjoyed a short spell with as well.

 

“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.”

 

On learning of the news of Rice’s MBE, Wenger said: “I am absolutely delighted because if someone deserves it, it's Pat Rice.

"He had 100 per cent genuine commitment to Arsenal every single day and you respect that when you see that from someone. Pat Rice is someone you could go to war with, and you would love to be in the trenches with him. These are very difficult qualities to find in modern society and I am delighted that Pat is being rewarded.

"Pat is an Arsenal legend and a great human being. We’re all so proud and happy for Pat and his family.”

 

Everyone at Arsenal Football Club congratulates Pat on this special achievement.

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He got an MBE today 

 

*claps*

 

/

 

What does he do now btw?

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