Perry Groves

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Perry Groves
Personal information
Full name Perry Groves
Date of birth (1965-04-19) 19 April 1965 (age 49)
Place of birth Bow, London, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Left wing
Youth career
1981–1982 Colchester United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1982–1986 Colchester United 142 (26)
1986–1992 Arsenal 155 (21)
1992–1994 Southampton 15 (2)
1994 Dagenham & Redbridge 4 (0)
Total 316 (49)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Perry Groves (born 19 April 1965) is a former English footballer, known chiefly for his time at Arsenal. He was a fast-paced player who usually played as winger, and occasionally as a striker. His uncle Vic Groves also played for Arsenal, from 1955 to 1964.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Colchester United[edit]

Groves was born in Bow, London, but as a boy he played for Cornard Dynamos in the village of Great Cornard on the Suffolk - Essex border. Groves then had a trial with Wolves as a schoolboy before signing as an apprentice for Colchester United in 1981. He turned professional a year later and over the next four seasons he played 142 league games for the U's, scoring 26 goals.

Arsenal[edit]

In September 1986, he signed for Arsenal for £50,000, becoming the first signing by new manager George Graham. In his first season at the club he helped set up Charlie Nicholas for the winner in the 1987 League Cup final, dribbling past three Liverpool players before laying the ball off.

Noted for his enthusiasm and hard work, he started most of Arsenal's games in the 1987–88 season, helping the Gunners reach a second League Cup final the following season by scoring the only goal of the away leg of the semi-final against Everton; Arsenal however lost the final to Luton Town. Although Groves made 46 appearances in all competitions that season, the arrival of Brian Marwood reduced his opportunities to play, and he was mainly used as a substitute in Arsenal's title-winning 1988–89 season, coming off the bench 15 times during the league campaign, on top of 6 starts. He was on the pitch as a substitute in the final game of the season and helped create the space when Michael Thomas famously scored the title clinching goal at Anfield.

Although an injury to Marwood opened the door for him again in 1989–90, Groves returned to the bench after Marwood recovered. This did not however stop him from winning a second league title winners' medal in 1990–91, again with most of his appearances coming as a sub. As Graham's Arsenal became more defensive Groves found himself in the team less and less, and after making only 13 league appearances in 1991–92 he was sold to Southampton.

Southampton[edit]

He moved to Southampton in 1992 for £750,000 but only played 15 times in two years before retiring from professional football at the age of 28, following two serious Achilles tendon injuries.

Dagenham & Redbridge[edit]

He then played four games in the Conference for Dagenham & Redbridge before ending his playing career completely.

Post-retirement[edit]

He appears for Arsenal in the London Masters football tournament, Perry also features on various Talksport shows filling in for presenters such as Alvin Martin or Gary Stevens. He has also recently made his debut on the BBC 5 Live radio show Fighting Talk and is now a regular on BBC Radio Five Live's show "Kicking off" on Friday evenings alongside Colin Murray. Groves is also part of Absolute Radio's Sony Award winning Rock 'N' Roll Football show, fronted by former Arsenal team mate, Ian Wright, which airs on a Saturday. He is also involved in the stations Euro 2012 coverage.

In 2010, Groves signed as a non-playing substitute for new club Chester after Colin Murray of BBC Radio 5 Live offered the new club £2,000 if they named Groves and Pat Nevin as unused substitutes at every game in the 2010–11 season.[2]

Groves became a regular pundit for Sports Tonight TV, a new sports television channel, soon after in launched in late 2011. Since the channel started broadcasting on PrimeTime Sky Channel 498 in June 2012, he has been a regular guest on Tuesday and Wednesday nights alongside former Sky Sports presenter Ian Payne.

Legacy[edit]

Groves became a cult player among Arsenal fans, who commemorate him with the chant "We all live in a Perry Groves World", which listed Perry in every position from 1 to 12 (except 7, which is instead taken by Liam Brady), to the tune of The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine". He still has a large following, with a fanclub and website devoted to him.

In October 2006, Groves published his autobiography, entitled We All Live in a Perry Groves World (ISBN 1-84454-319-6). With it came an Arsenal fans' campaign on the web to purchase the book, in an attempt to outsell former Arsenal defender Ashley Cole's autobiography, My Defence, which was out at the same time.[3] His autobiography has since outsold that of Cole, as well as the autobiographies of other much more high-profile players including Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand.[4]

As a part of the BBC Sport Relief 'Shirt of Hurt' campaign, challenging personalities in football to wear the shirt of their club's greatest rival to raise money for charity, Groves was challenged to wear a Tottenham shirt by Colin Murray on the latter's show on Radio 5 Live. Groves refused to wear the shirt and was willing to pay £400 to avoid it.

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Arsenal[5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Perry Groves (2007). We all live in a Perry Groves World. London: John Blake Publishing. p. 2. 
  2. ^ http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/chesterfootballclub/?section=clubnews&news_id=175263[dead link]
  3. ^ "Let's make Perry Groves better than Ashley Cole". Arseblog. 
  4. ^ Philip, Robert (7 January 2007). "How life in fast lane paid off for Arsenal icon". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Tier One (Premier League) Honours". Coludaybyday.co.uk. 
  6. ^ "League Cup Honours". Coludaybyday.co.uk. 

External links[edit]