Pat Rice to retire from Arsenal coaching staff at the end of this current season
Arsenal have today (10 May 2012) confirmed that long serving assistant coach Pat Rice will leave the club to retire at the end of this current season.
Rice's decision ends his 44-year association with Arsenal football club that started in 1964 when he was signed as a youth team player. He went on to make 528 senior appearances for the club over 14 seasons before four years at Watford. Rice then returned to Arsenal as youth team coach before taking up his most recognisable role as Arsene Wenger's assistant following the arrival of the Frenchman in 1996.
Wenger said on http://www.arsenal.com: "Pat is a true Arsenal legend and has committed almost his whole life to Arsenal football club, which shows huge loyalty and devotion to this club.
"Pat has been amazing for me over the past 16 years. When I first arrived at Arsenal, Pat was always there and taught me so much about this great club.
"I will always be indebted to him for his expert insight into Arsenal and football as a whole. On the training pitches and on matchdays, Pat has always been a passionate, loyal and insightful colleague, who we will all miss."
The search will now be on to find a suitable replacement for Rice, with former Arsenal great Steve Bould rumoured to be in the running.