Pat Rice

Feared right back and coach of Arsene Wenger's Arsenal

Pat Rice is a pivotal figure in the recent history of the world famous Arsenal football club. He played with distinction for Arsenal for over a decade, and, after a brief spell away from the club, returned to the coaching staff, eventually becoming assistant manager just as Arsene Wenger arrived to revitalise the ‘Gunners’ in 1996.

Rice was born in Belfast in 1949, but moved to London as a schoolboy, and joined Arsenal in 1966. He went on to play 527 games for the club between 1967 and 1980, winning the ‘double’ of League and FA Cup in 1971, and captaining the side to the FA Cup again in 1979. A tough and determined right back, Rice also made 49 appearances for Northern Ireland.

In 1980 he moved to Watford, but, after retiring as a player, returned to Arsenal as a youth coach in 1984, progressing to become first team coach and assistant manager to Arsene Wenger when the Frenchman arrived in 1996. Since then, Arsenal have become one of the most feared sides in Europe and won the ‘double’ of Premiership and FA Cup in 1998 and again in 2002.