Aaron Ramsdale has opened up on his wife’s miscarriage just days before the Arsenal goalkeeper was assaulted by a Tottenham Hotspur fan after the north London derby last season.
The 25-year-old helped the Gunners to a 2-0 win away to their arch-rival, Spurs, on January 15. An own goal by Hugo Lloris and Martin Odegaard’s effort kept Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes alive. While Ramsdale denied Harry Kane for one of his 14 clean sheets last term.
Tottenham fan Joseph Watts jumped onto an advertising board beside the field as Ramsdale leant over to collect his water bottle and aimed a kick at the goalkeeper’s back.
Aaron Ramsdale breaks his silence on his wife’s miscarriage
Ramsdale has now broken his silence on a heartbreaking few days for the Arsenal mainstay. He has shared a poignant message on his personal tragedy in an open piece for The Players’ Tribune. The goalkeeper also adds his thankfulness for how Mikel Arteta handled the events.
“The past year has been an emotional rollercoaster for me and my family,” Ramsdale wrote. “After the high of climbing to the top of the Premier League table and going off to my first World Cup, my wife and I found out that we were expecting our first child.
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“Mikel gave me a few extra days off after the World Cup, so we went on a brief holiday. It was genuinely the happiest time of our lives. And yeah… there’s no easy way to say this. But I feel like it’s important that people know… On the flight home, my wife had a miscarriage.”
Ramsdale shared a poignant as he described how he dealth with the personal tragedy.
He said: “There’s really no way that I can describe the pain of that 6-hour flight back to London, even now. I just want people out there to know that they’re not alone if they’re going through it themselves. When we got back, I didn’t tell many people what happened.
“Only my family, my teammates and, of course, Mikel. He was fantastic about everything. Even in the middle of the title race, with so much pressure on the club, he asked me if I needed some time off to deal with everything.
“Mikel went above and beyond to make sure me and my family were ok. For me, that’s a manager. We don’t always see eye-to-eye on everything… But he cares so much about his player, and he forever has my respect for how he handled our grief.”
Tottenham Hotspur fan Joseph Watts plead guilty to assaulting Ramsdale
Ramsdale declined Arteta’s compassionate offer of some time away with Arsenal travelling to Tottenham for the north London derby just days later. There, Spurs fan Watts would then assault the shot-stopper after Ramsdale helped the Gunners to a 2-0 win against their rivals.
“Three days later, we were playing Spurs in the derby and, for me, that was the only way to get my mind off things,” Ramsdale continued. “Football has always been my escape. I told the manager I wanted to play. It couldn’t have been a better night.
“We won 2-0 under the floodlights and our away fans were going absolutely ballistic. If you watch the match back, you can see me beaming at the final kick of the ball.
“I went to get my water bottle behind the goal and never in a million years would I ever think that I’d get kicked in the back by a Tottenham fan. I’ve had some very spicy banter with fans all over the English leagues. I’ve been called everything you can imagine.
“But it’s never crossed the line like that. I remember when I got back to the dressing room, I couldn’t even celebrate because I got pulled out to give a police statement.
“You know, I almost felt bad for the bloke who had done it, because I thought to myself: ‘If he only knew me as a person and what I’m actually going through right now, there’s no way that he would’ve done that’. If we bumped into each other one day and got chatting about football, we’d probably be mates.”
Watts would plead guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court to assault by beating on February 17, 2023. The Evening Standard reported the court ordered he pay £100 in compensation, whilst handing Watts a 12-month community order and a four-year football banning order.
The Arsenal star opens up just days before the 2023 Community Shield
Ramsdale has opened up on his heartbreaking events and how he ‘almost felt bad’ for Watts despite everything just days before Arsenal face Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley. The 2022/23 Premier League title rivals will meet in the curtain-raiser this Sunday.
Manchester City beat Arsenal home and away in the top-flight last season with 3-1 and 4-1 wins. The Citizens also took a 1-0 win at Etihad Stadium in the FA Cup in January. Ramsdale started in their two Premier League matches at home on February 15 and away on April 26.
Despite the heartbreak of his wife’s miscarriage and Watts assaulting Ramsdale, the three-cap international started all 38 of Arsenal’s Premier League fixtures in 2022/23. He was the only Gunners player to feature for all 3,420 available minutes throughout the season, too.