In this edition of the 300+ club, we will be looking at some of the Goalkeepers who have stood between the posts for the Gunners in the past two Englishmen one of whom who played internationally for Scotland and a Northern Irish man (I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere) in the form of Bob Wilson, Pat Jennings and David Seaman.
“When I went to Arsenal, we didn’t play the most attractive football but it was effective football and it won trophies. It is all about winning trophies, for me”.
At 563 appearances and widely considered the best ever goalkeeper Arsenal has ever had, it’s hard to argue with that verdict when you consider his 13 seasons at Arsenal he won three League Cups in 91, 98 and 02, four FA Cups 93, 98, 02 and again in 03 (let’s be honest who will ever forget that Peschisolido save), the League Cup in 93 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 94. From joining Arsenal in 1990 (Seaman revealed in an interview he almost at the time came close to joining Alex Ferguson’s United side, only for the fact his family where all settled and happy living at London, at the time Arsenal was the easy pick) he was ever present in the team right up until 2003. Outside of football you have probably seen him on Saturday night shows such as Dancing On Ice and Strictly Come Dancing who would have ever have thought Safe Hands would love dancing so much.
The former Arsenal goalkeeping coach made 308 appearances for the Gunners over 11 seasons at the club, Wilson’s highlight at Arsenal came in the 71 FA Cup Final victory over Liverpool in Wembley in front of 90,000 people, indeed it was the same season in which Wilson would go on to win the league with Arsenal. Wilson Retired from the game at 32 but stayed on with the club as goal keeping coach for the next 28 years working with both Jennings and Seaman as it happened. Outside of Arsenal Wilson could be seen regularly covering ITV’s football coverage in the 90s from Champions league games to other major FIFA/UEFA competitions. In recent years Wilson had undergone treatment for Prostate Cancer and received an OBE for his extensive charity work.
There’s not many players in modern day football (if any) who leave one club for a rival club and get a warm reception when they go back to their former grounds. This is especially true in the case of these North London rivals, take Sol Campbell, Adebayor etc. This wasn’t the case for Pat Jennings.
While he will almost always will be classed as a Spurs legend, racking up almost 500 appearances for them, he did make 327 for Arsenal however with the highlight like so many in that squad at the time being the 79 final against United. Jennings appeared in the North London Derby 32 times; 23 times for Spurs and 9 times for Arsenal. Outside of football (rather Arsenal football), Jennings is very much a Spurs Ambassador and works with the club on match days.
Coming up later in the 300+ club we will be looking at “The French Connection” Henry, Viera and Piers, England’s finest “Adams, Merson, Sansom” Until then you can keep up to date with all Arsenal news at ArsenalInsider.com; follow us on @ArsenalInsider and feel free to follow me at @Michael_Mac_39.