I wonder what happened to Mickey Boot?

Written by Neamman

Back in the 60s, perhaps 66 or 67, we had a young player who appeared in 3 games in a month, I saw his debut. His name was Mickey Boot and he scored 2 goals in those three games, the one I saw was a nice shot from outside the penalty box. Yet he never appeared for us again and soon thereafter moved to South Africa. I always wondered why he never progressed, was he a drinker? Did he not have the right mental strength? He certainly had the skills but obviously not all that was needed to succeed!!

The reason Mickey Boot came to mind was when I saw Jerome Thomas score for WBA. Now its not a strict comparison as he has carved out a reasonable career for himself but I remember the first time I saw him. I was at Barnet watching our reserves beat Chelsea 5-0, Jeffers scored twice, I forget who else did. Thomas and Juan [a Brazilian left back some of you may remember] were on the left wing. I watched astounded as the two of them raced up and down with the ball virtually tied to their feet, their control was so good. I had those two players pegged as potential first teamers but in the end neither made it, Juan due to knee problems.

I know the game has changed but I miss watching the way young stars worked their way up through the ranks and ultimately made it to the first team. Our double team of 71 was largely made up of youngsters who had played for us in the old SE Counties youth league plus the Football Combination. The great teams that clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton and Leeds had in the 70s were largely home grown boys with 3 or 4, usually high profile stars, judiciously brought to fill in weaknesses. It was the pleasure in spotting and watching the youngsters develop that melded you to you team in a very large degree. I can remember the anticipation when Charlie George made his first team debut, we all knew he was special and it was even in the papers prior to the event. Sadly these days most teams, at least in the EPL, rarely nurture youngsters through their ranks. I think the Manchester United class of the early 90s is the last example of a great team comprised mainly of home grown lads.

But perhaps this is changing, finally the youth academy at Arsenal is starting to bring through a steady stream of youth, players steeped in the Arsenal way. In the early years of this decade we had a very successful youth team but none of them made it as regulars, Sidwell, Harper, Thomas to name a few were all good players, but not good enough for Arsenal, Cole being the exception. We also had another youth cup winning team recently but now we are starting to see some of them in our first team squad as regulars, Gibbs and Wilshere are already established and there are several more on the fringes.

I, for one, hope that this is the start of a new trend, that we go back to producing a steady stream of youngsters who will be given their chance, a realistic chance, in the first team. For those of you who have the opportunity I recommend you start to attend the youth and reserve games as often as you can. They usually are free and, who knows, maybe you will be the first one on this board to tell us about the NEW Jack Wilshere or Cesc Fabregas!!!!

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24 Responses to I wonder what happened to Mickey Boot?

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Micky Boot. He really should have been a star!!

    Fine post Neanman, a very enjoyable read.

    I believe we have already turned the corner in terms of bringing players through and in 5 years time we will be seeing a 50/50 blend of homegrowns. Do Theo and Ramsey count as homegrown? Do Denilson,Chesney, Coquelin etc and Wellington or must they be locals?

    Either way I predict a rosy future for an Arsenal team raised the AW way.

  2. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Neamman.

    He didn’t become a chemist by any chance did he?

  3. Red Arse says:

    Really great read, Neamman. :-)

    I have been watching Arsenal youth teams for some years now, and have seen some excellent prospects who’s careers have sadly have fizzled out.

    But I can say, with absolute certainty, that given the chance there are several kids coming thru that could be excellent.

    I had never heard of Micky Boot, but I looked him up and it appears he has joined GG9 in Oz. Not you is it GG9? :-)

    Ex-England Schoolboy wing-half Micky Boot scored on his league debut in Arsenal’s 2-0 win at home to Newcastle United in October 1966. Signing professional at Highbury in December 1964, he featured in two FA Youth Cup finals including the Gunners’ 1966 success and netted twice in four First Division games prior to joining Port Elizabeth City in March 1967. Later with Nuneaton, Kidderminster and Leamington, he played for Australian sides Townsville, Mareeba and Phoenix before coaching Lake MacQuarie. He has worked for British Oxygen, Fosters Wine Estates and now Port Waratah Coal Services in Newcastle (NSW). (With thanks to Leigh Edwards)

  4. Steve Palmer says:

    Micky Boot 1963-1967
    ex England schoolboy wing half scored on his league debut in Arsenals 2.0 win at home to Newcastle Utd in October 1966 signing proffesional at Highbury in December 1964 he featured in two FA youth cup finals including the gunners 1966 success and netted twice in four first division games prior to joining Port Elizabeth city in march 1967 later with Nuneaton, Kidderminster, and Leamington he played for Australian sides Townsville Mareeba and Phoenix befor coaching Lake Mac Quarie.
    In other words Arsenal tought him all he Knew

  5. Steve Palmer says:

    Sorry Red Arse you got in while i was still typing, good story son

  6. Red Arse says:

    Steve,

    We have great minds and all that! :-)

  7. Neamman says:

    4 games not three.. my memory is failing!! hahaha. Still I was right about the year.
    Thanks guys, now I know …. the rest of the story!!!

  8. Red Arse says:

    Neamman,

    I am impressed with your knowledge! :-)

    If that name had come up in a Pub quiz, I would not have got it.

  9. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    RA

    No :)

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Spurs now know how difficult it is to win after playing away in the CL midweek.

    Hope we don’t have similar problems

  11. Hi Radders – the money seems to be on Citeh but we like an upset don’t we …… was Mancini saving Tevez for us d’you think or did he want to give the barndoor some confidence for tomorrow. Either way our defence is much better than the one they faced the other night.

  12. Rasp says:

    Evening all,

    Sincere apologies Neamman for not expressing my appreciation of your article earlier. Supporting Arsenal is a lifetime’s addiction and its made more colourful by reminiscences such as yours today. I remember watching Juan and thinking Arsène is going to make us play like Brazil. So far our Brazilians have failed to reproduced the ‘samba football’ but hopefully Wellington Silva will add that bit of Latin spice.

  13. Neamman says:

    Thanks. yes lets hope Silva is something special.

  14. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

  15. SharkeySure says:

    Fantastic read that Neamann.

    I too remember Juan, what a fantastic little player he was. I was also surprise/disappointed to see /Thomas go (to Charlton £1m?) as he’d always looked very good when I saw him.

    I met him shortly after and saw that he was a bit of a big time Charlie. He drove a massive Escalade with the biggest shiniest wheels I had ever seen, even though he was only about 21. Seems to have grwon up a lot since then, and is now a fine player as you say.

    All in all, your piece sums u what makes Arsenal difference as I do believe we are still ‘producing’ our own stars. We are very rarely in ‘a race with other clubs’ to sign players. Only Ramsey & Walcott spring to mind in recent years.

  16. Jason Boot says:

    A relly enjoyable read,

    It was fantastic reading about my dad and yes he should of been a star!

    I think perhaps his lifestyle got in the way and no AW to keep him on track and on English soil.

  17. john webb says:

    micky boot is a star!
    plays golf off scratch, runs one of the biggest logistics companys in the southern hemisphere and can be seen wining and dining different fillies ( under 30 ) most nights.
    the gunners george best. dont worry about football.
    its not everything,

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  20. Danny says:

    Im doing an Arsenal A-Z in more detail than any other gooners site, here is my one on Micky http://www.the-highbury-inn.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=86&t=780 any help feel free to join or twitter me, its not spam and i dont have adverts so its aim is not to make money just have a players database

  21. Mitchryan says:

    I’m from Australia and I actually met Mickey boot last night in a bar! He is a coach for one of the local sides and he won $170 on the lilies next to me

  22. Danny says:

    can you ask him to have a look at my bio of him and maybe help fill in the gaps for his later career, or just what club he coaches now if you see him again, thanks

  23. Jason Boot says:

    hi Danny
    I will do my best to email a link to this to my Dad (Mickey Boot) But Chances are he will not read this. Is there anything i can help you with?

  24. Danny says:

    That would be superb if he reads it http://www.the-highbury-inn.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=86&t=780, any photos recent or past, info on clubs, stats or even names of other he played with or where they are now, my site is owned & run by me with no adverts so i dont make any money if the people who own this site think i might be spamming (i was a season ticket holder for 20 seasons), thanks, danny

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