TONY ADAMS, MBE
Tony Adams made his debut for Arsenal in November 1983 and played his last match in May 2002. During this time, he competed in 669 matches and became universally recognised as the most successful captain in the history of the club. Born in Romford, Tony joined Arsenal on associated schoolboy forms in 1980; four years later Terry Neill gave him his first full contract. On New Year's Day 1988 at the age of 21, he became the club's youngest ever captain.
In just over a year and under the guidance of new manager George Graham, Arsenal would enter one of the most successful periods of their proud history, winning four top flight division titles, three FA Cups, two Football League Cups, a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, and three FA Community Shields with Tony captaining a title-winning team in three different decades. Tony went on to play in 66 matches for England, captaining his country on 15 occasions scoring five goals in the process. He played in World Cup and European Nation matches and had the honour of leading his country in the final match ever played at Wembley Stadium against Germany in 2000.
In 1996 Tony also had the courage to deal with his addiction to alcohol. He told his own story in his autobiography 'Addicted' published in 1998. The proceeds from this book and his commitment to helping others in sport saw the creation of Sporting Chance in the year 2000. It is now the largest provider in the world of education and treatment for sports professionals. Tony has cited this as one of his greatest achievements.