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Sunday, 11 August, 2002, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK
Tributes to Tony Adams
Arsenal legend Tony Adams is hanging up his boots and heading to university.
Tony Adams made his Gunners debut in 1983 and became Arsenal's youngest ever captain just four years later at the age of 21.
He kept the armband for 15 years, a natural leader whose courage and determination were an inspiration to those around him.
The 35-year-old won 10 major trophies with the club, including two League and Cup doubles, and won over 60 England caps.
Send your tributes to Big Tone.
This page is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.
Tony has been a great player for the club. He never had a bad game and always gave 110%. There will never be a player like him again at Arsenal. The way he has overcome his drink problem is admirable. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten!
Tom Matthews, England
Tony Adams has been captain of Arsenal for longer than I have been alive. Throughout my entire life, he has been the constant, the rock around which George Graham's Arsenal and then later, Arsene's Arsenal have been built.
His contribution to the Arsenal cause could never be repaid in money or actions. His left-footed volleyed goal after an 80-yard run in the last minutes of the Everton game in 1998 which clinched the title, and his career, were summed up by Martin Tyler when he said, 'It's Tony Adams, would you believe it! Well that sums it all up!'
Tony Adams was one of the finest English players of his generation and I wish him well in his new life after football. It's brilliant that he is pursuing further education. Good luck, Tony: Your on-going recovery from your former "personal problem" is an inspiration to many, many people, both inside and outside football.
Let's hope that a few other footballers who are having a similar "personal problem" at the moment (one of whom is in the news right now) will learn from your experience, strength and hope. God bless you, mate.
From the North Bank; we always looked more solid for your presence, and your partnership with Steve Bould, whilst at times underrated, is surely one of the greatest defensive pairings ever.
Tony, you talked the talk, walked the walk and were Arsenal through and through. Enjoy university mate, your old knees have earned the break... ADAMS - TOP GOONER.
I'm sure he'll do very well in a classroom. He's good at putting his hand up.
Tony, you were simply Arsenal's greatest ever player. I wish you nothing but the best in whatever you choose to do with the rest of your life as long as it's not manager of Spurs!
As a die hard Gooner, I went to Tony's testimonial against Celtic, and the five minutes standing ovation from both fans is testament to how much Adams has contributed to the game and in particular Arsenal.
My favourite memory of Tony would be the goal he scored against Everton 1997-98 to clinch the title, it showed the true leader he was. Thanks Tony, for bringing all those trophies to Highbury and the 20 years of service you have given.
I wish you all the best and one day you maybe winning more trophies for us, but as a manager.
What a rare thing to see in this day and age - a top player who decides to retire while he is still great, and everyone can remember him at top form! And what a retirement present - to be able to win the Double! Congratulations to a fine player, and good luck at university!
What can I say but who can imagine an Arsenal side without Tony Adams? I wish him all the best for the future.
I'd like to take a moment, as a Manchester United fan, to thank Arsenal's Tony Adams. Thank you, on behalf of Manchester United, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Chelsea, and all the other Premiership sides, for retiring, so that we can all enjoy a less stubborn, less tenacious and weaker Arsenal defence this season.
You were like the Gary Pallister United fans still talk about and crave for today. Your bite was always worse than your bark, your tackling was always crippling to the point of illegality, your position play was always commanding to the point of emulating geniality.
I think there are a lot of players world wide who could benefit by learning from your loyalty, commitment and dedication to the game, especially during the darker moments of your personal life.
And therefore, now that you have retired, I find myself having a tremendous amount of respect for you.
Tony has shown everyone that people can change for the better. He has been an absolute stalwart in the Gunners defence, but more importantly, he has sorted his personal life out and has not been afraid to admit he has been stupid. Good luck Tony, you are a credit to the Gunners, your family but most of all to yourself.
He stands alongside Trevor Brooking and Bobby Charlton as the finest servant to his club in modern times.......
So he wasn't an angel: most of us aren't.
So he left school at 15: well, he's made more of his life than most University graduates.
And now he's going to teach the lecturers a bit about his experiences in the University of Life...whilst they educate him a bit about why they teach on the University campus instead...good luck to you mate!
Tony Adams is a legend. There will never be a greater man or captain for club or country - simply, he is a one off. I wish him all the best and hope one day he returns to football in another capacity. Tony & Denis are surely future management at Arsenal!
Whilst I am neither an Arsenal nor and England fan, I have nothing but respect for Adams - the consummate professional. Maybe Roy Keane could take a leaf out of his book, and keep his mouth shut and get on with the game. I understand Adams wasn't averse to an occasional pint either, so fair play to him for keeping fit for purpose for all those years. Finally as for that volley he scored....say no more.
A fantastic servant to Arsenal and England. An inspirational leader on the park and a tremendous influence in the dressing room. He will be one of the last one-club players.
He will be missed by the Gunners. The fourth goal in the title-clinching match against Everton in 1998 stands out. It is fitting that he goes out at the top having led Arsenal to the Double in his final season.
Awesome bloke! Inspirational leader, top-class player and a great human being. May your tribe increase.
Tony, why did you have to retire? I would have loved you to stay on and on. Because football is in need of more people like you. Good luck!
One cannot but help admire Tony Adams. At times infuriating on and off the field, he has bounced back from all of his problems and become a better player/human being.
Legend. Absolute legend.
As a massive Spurs fan, I'm still sad to see the back of Tony Adams. He has been a great leader for club and country. I only wish more players these days would show the loyalty and love for his club as he has. All the best for the future mate.
You've supported us through the low times and guided us to the triumphs. You will remain an inspiration to us all. Your own determination in the face of adversity will be a shining light to future generations.
Tony Adams = Arsenal. One day he will be back as manager...Hopefully for 20 years!
People never appreciate something special until it has gone. A player who was not graced with great skill or speed, but who was a giant of the last decade, blessed with a leaders quality, who read the game better and better the older he became.
Farewell Tony, I doubt we will ever see your like again. In these days of mercenary players moving from club to club for an extra £20,000 per week it has been a privilege to watch you play for Arsenal.
Your commitment to the club has been exemplary - one of the greatest Gunners ever, and a tough act to follow.
There are great Arsenal players, Arsenal legends, and then there's Tony Adams. He was simply the best. No-one else even comes close. Thanks for a thousand memories great man. I'm pleased my five-year-old son James saw you play before you finished. His generation and all that follow will recall you as the true spirit of Arsenal.
Thank you for some great memories. He was a great player and was until his retirement. With the building of the new stadium, wouldn't it be a wonderful gesture to recognise Adam's contribution in the naming of a stand or some other?
After all, it is his performances over the years that have played no small part in making Arsenal what they are today.
Thinking back over the Adams era, it brings a tear to my eye. I doubt we will ever get a more committed player.
It's a pity we haven't had a proper chance to say goodbye and thanks. It didn't feel the same without him playing in the Community Shield. Unique and a born winner. Let's hope he returns as manager at the new stadium.
The amazing Mr Adams is Mr Arsenal. Thank you Tony for Arsenal's winning records. He stands with Mr Herbert Chapman as Arsenal's great legends.
Few are like him. He was a very dependable defender and disciplined fellow. Sometimes I agree when people say leaders are born. He was so tremendous on his day and always a cut above the rest. I am Man Utd fan but Tony has a special place in my heart.
So I sincerely wish him all the best in his studies and in his other future endeavours.Well done Tony, we will miss you dearly.
The end of an era for sure. A great player and a great person has left the game. I think Arsenal should retire his shirt number in honour of the great man.
Top bloke and a real gentleman is our Tone....do what you have to do mate. Enjoy your rest. Not only were you a great player, you'll be a great manager of Arsenal one day.
Even as a Spurs fan, I respect Adams for staying at Arsenal for his whole career. Loyalty to one club is a fine thing, unlike a certain other centre-back who Arsenal have now. Well done Mr Adams, you'll be missed by all.
Tony has shown all of us that he did not head one too many balls. As a Spurs fan, I always admired his professionalism, even though he played for the old enemy.
Unlike some American footballers over here, he is using his noggin by walking away, and will be a great success for the rest of his life. You should see the ex-NFL players who don't know when to quit, hobbling on canes, like old men, and they are in their early 40s. VERY sad.
Well done, Tony, a GREAT Briton!
Even the Almighty had a rock on which he built his church. You were the rock of Arsenal, our adrenalin ran just that little bit faster when you were playing, for you represented everything we love about Arsenal.
Go well, stay well, learn well and come back and pick up the mantle of the great Arsene of Arsenal.
Tony Adams has shown what a true professional he is over the years, and is a great role model for anyone who wants to succeed in sport. His courage and influence is outstanding and he is a great leader, as well as having fantastic footballing skills.
I hope he comes back to the game in the near future, and that it works out for him in footballing management and coaching. All the best, Tony.
Can there be a better way for Tony Adams to say goodbye than to have played in a Double season in his final year? It was the least he deserved after 19 years of great service to the club. And to think he was a one-club man! All the talent, all the heart, yet his was always at Highbury!
He was a model defender and a great captain, and I do feel sad that he never won more than his 66 England caps. It should certainly have been more. Yet with the problems he had, to bounce back and have a great career is monumental in itself. He'll be remembered as a real inspiration to younger and older footballers alike.
Dignified in victory, graceful in defeat, always a father figure, Arsenal has certainly grown from a child to a young and healthy adult. Now it's time for the offspring to walk free. But the father will always be remembered! Goodbye Tony, and God Bless!
If you read "Addicted", his autobiography, you can't help respecting the man. I've read it about ten times. Top footballer, top bloke.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tony before last seasons Sunderland game, which was his 500th league appearance for (his only club) Arsenal. I wish I had known then that it was certainly his last season as I would have said more.
So, Tony, thank you for all you've done - not just for Arsenal but football as a whole.
11 Aug 02 | Football
10 Aug 02 | Football
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