George ‘Geordie’ Armstrong served Arsenal for 27 years as both a player and a coach, before being cruelly taken from his family and his club whilst coaching the Arsenal reserves at London Colney – he collapsed suddenly on the training pitch having suffered a brain haemorrhage in October 2000 – and never recovered.
At the request of Geordie’s daughter, Jill, Dave Seager has worked towards capturing the essence of George Armstrong: the player, the coach and the man. He has not chosen the conventional biography route, instead he tells the story of Geordie Armstrong with the assistance of those who knew him best – and the end product reads like a veritable who’s who of Arsenal Football Club from the past 50 years.
Seager successfully paints a remarkable picture – reliving stories and recollections of those who loved him; those who were fortunate to call him their friend; those who played alongside him; those who watched him play week in week out and those who were coached by him. There are also dozens of never before published action shots and pictures from George’s own personal photographic collection to enjoy.
The interview roll-call includes: Bob Wilson, Frank McLintock, Charlie George, Eddie Kelly, John Radford, George Graham, Liam Brady, George Cohen, Arsene Wenger, Dennis Bergkamp, Lee Dixon, David Dein, Gary Lewin, Vic Akers, Stewart Houston, Pat Rice, Martin Keown, Kevin Campbell, Frank Stapleton, Steve Burtenshaw, Ken Friar, Steve Sidwell, Perry Groves, Peter Simpson, Brendan Batson, Bob McNab and many more…..
Here are a few extract quotes:
“Thank you George Armstrong for enriching my life and the lives of all those you touched…”
“I just loved the wee man. I can’t say enough about him. He would not say a bad word about anybody and I doubt you will find anybody to say a bad word about him.”
“Wherever Ray or I made our runs. Near post, penalty spo,t or far post, George could put the cross within a square yard from either flank and with either foot.”
“He has contributed so much to the success of this club, first by playing, then by developing young players… everybody at the club had the greatest respect for him.”
“Geordie was one of those who probably felt there were not enough hours in the day, and when he was asleep, he probably felt he was missing out.”
“Everybody loved Geordie, all through the years. His team mates in the 70s, all us kids growing up who eventually became first team players, we all loved him… and then that generation of those players he coached.”
“The two nicest people I ever met in football are sadly both no longer with us: David Rocastle and George Armstrong. They were both magnificent footballers but, first and foremost, both were wonderful human beings.”
There are many figures that have helped shape the history and heritage of Arsenal Football Club and, after reading this lovely book, readers will be left in no doubt that George Armstrong is amongst the most significant.