Arsenal are to let Pat Rice leave the club, ending his 56-year association with the Gunners.
Pat Rice along and Stewart Houston’s long association with the club is coming to an end due to the club’s behind-the-scenes restructuring.
According to The Athletic, Rice is no longer needed in his role as a video scout, ending his 56-year association with the club. Houston, who worked as assistant manager alongside George Graham, had been working as a scout and, as you know, Arsenal don’t use those any more.
Born in Belfast on St. Patrick’s Day, Pat Rice was the one player to win both the 1970-71 double and 1979 FA Cup Final with the club.
Born a fortnight before his eventual full-back partner and fellow Belfastian, Sammy Nelson (who played nearly 400 times for the club himself), his family had moved to within spitting distance of Highbury when he was 10-years-old and he had grown up idolising the club.
This gave him a single-minded determination to play for the team that more than made up for his limited skill levels, confounding many at the club who thought he would never make the grade.
Famously dedicated and often sneaking in to undertake extra training, Rice went from a prospect with an outside chance to lifting the FA Cup as captain and playing 528 times for his boyhood club, before a brief stint at Watford, captaining them to promotion to the top flight for the first time and scoring in their first game at the highest level.
A true Arsenal man, Rice went on become a very successful youth team coach and subsequently Assistant Manager, following 16 years at the club as a player, helping Arsenal and Arsene Wenger to three Premier League titles and Four FA Cups before he stepped down in 2012 due to health reasons.
He will, however, be kept on in ‘ambassadorial and ceremonial capacities’.