Perry Groves

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Perry Groves
Perry Groves.jpg
Groves in 2014, at the Emirates Stadium legends tour
Personal information
Full name Perry Groves
Date of birth (1965-04-19) 19 April 1965 (age 52)
Place of birth Bow, London, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[1]
Playing position Left winger
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)
1995 Canvey Island 1 (0)
Total 317 (49)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Perry Groves (born 19 April 1965)[1] is an English former footballer, known chiefly for his time at Arsenal. He was a fast-paced player who usually played as a winger, and occasionally as a striker. Groves also played for Colchester United and Southampton. He currently works as a media pundit.[2][3]

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, ousting Charlie Nicholas as strike partner to Alan Smith, and 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 usually favoured Kevin Campbell to play alongside Alan Smith. After making only 13 league appearances in 1991–92 Groves 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.[1]

Dagenham and Redbridge[edit]

He then played four games in the Conference for Dagenham & Redbridge before ending his playing career with a solitary appearance for Canvey Island.

Post-retirement[edit]

Groves has appeared for Arsenal in several Masters footballing tournaments.[3] He is now a well established sports pundit and has worked for a wide variety of media firms including Sky Sports, BBC Radio 5 Live, BT Sport, Absolute Radio as well as TalkSPORT.[4] Groves was previously part of Absolute Radio's Sony Award winning Rock 'N' Roll Football show, fronted by former Arsenal teammate, Ian Wright, which airs on a Saturday.

In 2010, Groves signed as a non-playing substitute for new club Chester after Colin Murray, then 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.[5]

In March 2014, along with his friend Josh Landy, Groves launched a company called "Play With A Legend" which offers football fans the chance to play alongside their heroes such as Matt Le Tissier, Paul Merson and Dion Dublin on stag, corporate and charity events. The concept has been well received and has achieved national publicity.[6]

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". [3]

He still has a large following, with a fan club and website devoted to him.[7] 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.[8] His autobiography has since outsold that of Cole.[citation needed]

Family[edit]

His uncle Vic Groves, having previously featuring for Tottenham Hotspur, played for and captained Arsenal. He playing as a forward making 203 appearances while scoring 37 goals.[2][9]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Arsenal

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Chalk, Gary; Holley, Duncan; Bull, David (2013). All the Saints: A Complete Players' Who's Who of Southampton FC. Southampton: Hagiology Publishing. p. 336. ISBN 978-0-9926-8640-6. 
  2. ^ a b Perry Groves (2007). We all live in a Perry Groves World. London: John Blake Publishing. p. 2. 
  3. ^ a b c "Perry Groves: Interview". Planet Football.com. 
  4. ^ "Play with a legend". Nights Out In Newcastle.co.uk. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Waugh, Chris (2014-11-12). "Stag do stars... Fancy hiring Paul Merson, Teddy Sheringham or Matt Le Tissier for a kickabout and pint with your mates? | Daily Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  7. ^ "We Love Perry". We Love Perry.com. 
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ "Vic Groves". Arsenal.com. 
  10. ^ "Premier League (Tier One) Honours". Coludaybyday.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  11. ^ "1972/73 Terry Anderson". Coludaybyday.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  12. ^ "Mercantile Credit Centenary Trophy 1988". Football Database. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 

External links[edit]