Stalwart Rice exits Gunners
Club legend ends 44-year association with Arsenal
Last Updated: May 10, 2012 5:46pm
Arsenal have confirmed assistant boss Pat Rice is to leave the Emirates at the end of the season, with an announcement on his successor to be made in due course.
The former player, who took up a senior coaching role when Arsene Wenger joined in 1996, will end a 44-year association with the club.
Wenger has paid tribute the 63-year-old, who helped guide the club to seven major honours - three Premier League titles and four FA Cups, including two doubles in 1998 and 2002.
He told the club's official website: "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 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."
Arsene Wenger Quotes of the week
"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.
"Thank you Pat, we'll miss you and all of us wish you and your family the best of health and happiness for the future. Although, we'll still see Pat a lot, as I know he's planning to come to all the home matches as a supporter!"
Northern Ireland international right-back Rice first joined the Gunners as a youth team player back in 1964.
He went onto make 528 appearances for Arsenal across 14 seasons, including being a double winner in 1971 and captaining the Gunners to FA Cup glory in 1979.
After a spell with Watford between 1980 and 1984, Rice returned to Arsenal as a Youth Team Coach, winning two FA Youth Cups in 1988 and 1994.
He enjoyed a farewell barbeque with Wenger and the first team squad on Wednesday night.