Arsenal have, as part of the 125th anniversary celebrations unveiled three statues of Arsenal legends at the stadium.
Herbert Chapman, along with former captains Thierry Henry and Tony Adams will become part of the Arsenalisation and remain on their respective plinths for many years to come.
Chairman Peter Hill-Wood said, “Today is a celebration of three hugely influential figures in the history of Arsenal Football Club. Herbert Chapman, Tony Adams and Thierry Henry are three Arsenal Legends who have all contributed so much to the successes of this football club.
“These legends are now proudly on display outside Emirates Stadium for all to see, and will provide a way for Arsenal supporters, and indeed any visitors to the stadium, to remember them and pay their own tributes to these three great men.”
Arsene Wenger hailed Chapman, whose statue was placed at the Danny Fiszman bridge, as the ‘club’s greatest ever manager’, calling him a ‘revolutionary’ and saying his contribution to the club’s history and traditions would never be forgotten.
At the Ken Friar Bridge Mr Hill-Wood unveiled the statue of Tony Adams. It features the centre-half legend in a pose with his arms out having just scored that goal against Everton as Arsenal sealed the league title in 1998. Would you believe it? You probably would. Tony played a total of 669 games for the club but sadly wasn’t present at today’s ceremonies.
Arsenal’s record goalscorer, Thierry Henry, completed the trio. With 226 goals he remains, and is likely to remain for many years, the club’s all-time record goalscorer.
Described by PHW as a ‘modern day hero’, Henry’s statue shows him on his knees having run all the way up the pitch to score against Sp*rs then all the way back again to celebrate in front of their fans. A tremendous touch for a normally conservative club.
Arsene Wenger said, “I know that he loves Arsenal deeply… He deserves this honour… I am proud of his sensational career”, while an emotional Henry himself told the assembled crowd, “Wow! I never thought in my wildest dreams that this would happen. I have so much love for the club. Once a Gooner, always a Gooner.”
The statues will provide just a small part of the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations and the club have urged all supporters to get to the ground early tomorrow for a number of events.
Picture via @gingers4limpar