Whatever the result at tomorrows crucial game against Norwich, no doubt there will be a lap of appreciation from the players to their supporters after the game has ended. One man deserves to have his name sung loud and proud as he walks around the Emirates pitch for the last time. It is expected that Pat Rice, Arsene’s right hand man, will be hanging up his track suit following many years as an excellent servant to the club.
The bare facts of his career do not do justice to a wonderfully loyal and gentle man, who served Arsenal so well both as player and Assistant Coach.
Patrick James “Pat” Rice (born 17 March 1949).
Pat was born in Belfast, which explains his unique London/Irish accent, because he then grew up in London.
As an International player he won 49 caps for his home country Northern Ireland. He has been the strong right hand of Arsene Wenger ever since Wenger became the Arsenal coach, and reinforced his reputation by being an intrinsic part of the management of two wonderful Double winning teams.
Born in Belfast, Rice grew up in London.
But what of the man? Pat has become indelibly linked with Arsenal and has clearly become assistant, friend, confidant and advisor to the greatest manager Arsenal has ever had.
If Pat gave a soliloquy about his time at the club, it would be full of self deprecating modesty and good humour. For all Arsenal fans he is far more than that. We all will have our own thoughts and memories, both involving his playing career and his time in administrative management.
Nothing will honour Pat more than for all of us to exchange these wonderful memories of a great man among ourselves today on the penultimate day of his final Arsenal home game.
Written by Red Arse