By Tony Attwood
Perhaps the most interesting part of running the anniversary files (especially during the summer) is looking at the arrivals and departures of Arsenal players and trying to find out where they are now and what they are doing.
Of course many players take on media work, and a few make a living out of that, while some stay in football as coaches or managers, or as scouts etc.
But there are always some whose subsequent adventures take me by surprise – although of course that may be just because I have missed a piece of news. I didn’t know, until updating today’s files, that Sol Campbell was manager of Trinidad and Tobago national team for example, (but see the correspondence below) or indeed that Pascal Cygan stayed in football as a player until 2011. What, I wonder has he been doing since?
I always wish Arsenal players well after retirement from football, (unless they have betrayed the trust shown in them by Arsenal and simply walked out when more money was on offer, such as with Robin van Persie) but I fear for the majority, who showed great talent as teenagers, and where there has not been a great deal of thought given as to what they might do when the playing stops.
Here are today’s anniversaries.
8 July 1970: David Court sold to Luton Town having missed out on the Fairs Cup final games through injury. He played 168 league games league games for Arsenal, and in 1996 he returned to Arsenal as head of youth development.
8 July 1971: Don Howe left Arsenal to manage WBA. The move was not a success and WBA were relegated in 1973. Don moved on to Leeds and to Galatasaray, before coming back to Arsenal in 1977 as coach with Terry Neil as manager.
8 July 1975: David O’Leary became a full professional. He played his first game in the league aged 17, and went on to play 27 games in 1975/6, his first season.
8 July 1977: Wilf Rostrom moved to Sunderland. He had played 17 league games for Arsenal and scored two goals. In all he played nearly 500 league games, including 317 for Watford. After ending his playing career he spent a few years in management before leaving football in 1994.
8 July 1990: Anders Limpar signed from Cremonese. He played 94 league games in a four year spell at Arsenal, before moving on to Everton. He later won the Swedish league with AIK. After retiring in 2000 he went into coaching and then business.
8 July 1999: Kaba Diawara sold to Marseilles after just 12 games. He played for 17 different clubs but never more than the 60 games he played for Bordeaux (with whom he won the league). He retired in 2011.
8 July 1999: After loan spells with Brentford and Millwall, Under 15 international Michael Black transferred to Tranmere on a free. In 2011 he dropped into non-league football playing for eight different clubs before retiring in 2009.
8 July 2002: Pascal Cygan joined from Lille for whom he had played 179 league games. He played 98 matches for Arsenal (including 20 games in the Champions League). He retired from professional football in 2011 after two years with Cartegena of the Spanish second division.
8 July 2006: Sol Campbell confirmed his departure from Arsenal after 135 games. He moved on to Portsmouth, where he played another 95 league games. In 2009/10 he returned to Arsenal once more for a further 11 games. His most recent appointment was as manager of the Trinidad and Tobago national team.
8 July 2018: Greek central defender Sokratis joined the club from Borussia Dortmund for £14.8 million. He played 25 league games for Arsenal in his first season.
And here are the main features from the site There is an index to all our series on the home page.
Henry Norris at the Arsenal: There is a full index to the series here.
Arsenal in the 1930s: The most comprehensive series on the decade ever
Arsenal in the 1970s: Every match and every intrigue reviewed in detail.