Football historian LEIGH EDWARDS profiles every Arsenal player from 60 post-war League seasons.
Ex-England Youth midfielder Adrian Clarke made his Premiership debut in Arsenal's 3-1 defeat at QPR in December 1994 when John Jensen scored his long awaited first goal for the Gunners. Signing professional at Highbury in July 1993, he helped Arsenal win the FA Youth Cup in 1994 and made seven Premiership appearances. He was loaned to Rotherham United prior to joining Southend United in March 1997 but was unable to prevent them plummeting from the First Division to Third. Following a loan spell at Carlisle United, he joined Stevenage Borough in June 2000 and has since played for Margate and Welling United.
Northern Ireland Under-23 left-back Freddie Clarke understudied Billy McCullough whilst at Arsenal. He impressed with Glenavon before following Jack McClelland to Highbury for £5,000 in November 1960 and made his League debut in Arsenal's 5-4 defeat at home to Aston Villa in March 1962. Helping the Gunners win the Football Combination Cup and London Challenge Cup in 1962/63, he played 26 First Division games prior to rejoining Glenavon in November 1965. Later reserve team coach at Glenavon and Bangor, he spent 35 years as an accountant with Graham Construction and now lives in Hillsborough, Co Down.
French U-21 left-back Gael Clichy was the youngest-ever recipient of a Premiership winners' medal in 2003/04. Previously with Cannes, he moved to Highbury for in August 2003 and made his Premiership debut in Arsenal's 3-0 victory at Birmingham City three months later. Suspension and injury to Ashley Cole gave him further chances to impress and he appeared in the 2003/04 FA Cup semi-final. He helped win the FA Community Shield in 2004 and featured in the Gunners' triumphant 2004/05 FA Cup run, then returned from a foot injury to appear in last season's Champions League semi-final second-leg.
Scottish winger Tommy Coakley played in Arsenal's first-ever League Cup match at home to Gillingham in September 1966. Starting with Possilpark Juniors, he moved via Motherwell to Arsenal in May 1966 and made his League debut in place of Alan Skirton in the 1-0 win at home to Aston Villa three months later. He scored once in nine First Division games for the Gunners prior to joining Detroit Cougars in December 1967, then played for Morton and Chelmsford City. Later managing Maldon, Bishop's Stortford, Walsall and Blakenall, he was a bookmaker in Willenhall and now co-owner of Swingers Golf Centre in Lichfield.
England Under- 21 striker Andy Cole played for Arsenal in the 1991 FA Charity Shield. Signing professional for the Gunners in October 1989, his only League appearance was as a substitute in the 4-1 win at home to Sheffield United in December 1990. He moved to Bristol City for £500,000 in July 1992 after a loan spell and joined Newcastle United for £1,750,000 in March 1993. Sold to Manchester United for £7,000,000 in January 1995, he amassed a vast collection of honours including 15 full caps and joined Blackburn Rovers for £7,500,000 in December 2001. He has since played for Fulham, Manchester City and now Portsmouth.
England international left-back Ashley Cole was capped 51 times whilst at Arsenal. Signing professional at Highbury in November 1998, he returned from a loan spell at Crystal Palace to make his Premiership debut in Arsenal's 4-2 defeat at Newcastle in May 2000. He succeeded Nigel Winterburn in defence and starred as the Gunners won the 'double' in 2001/02, also winning the FA Cup twice more and the Premiership title again in 2003/04. Recovering from injury to play in the 2006 Champions League final, he netted eight goals in 156 Premiership games before joining Chelsea in a deal involving William Gallas in August 2006.
Long-serving wing-half Ernie Collett played for Arsenal either side of the Second World War. Signing professional at Highbury in April 1933, he made his League debut in place of Wilf Copping in Arsenal's 1-1 draw at Stoke City in October 1937. He helped the Gunners win the League Championship that season and London Combination on six occasions. Making 187 wartime appearances, he assisted Brentford in the 1942 War Cup final and played 20 First Division games for Arsenal before joining the coaching staff in June 1949. Later scout until retiring in November 1979, he died in a traffic accident five months later.
Versatile midfielder David Cork appeared for Arsenal in the top-flight during the 1983/84 campaign. A former apprentice at Highbury, he turned professional in June 1980 and made his League debut in Arsenal's 3-1 victory at home to Watford in December 1983. He scored once in seven First Division games and also helped the Gunners win the Football Combination in 1983/84. Moving to Huddersfield Town in July 1985, he reunited with Mick Buxton at Scunthorpe in February 1989, then helped Darlington win promotion and played for Boston United and Worksop. He is now a machinist with Norking Aluminium in Doncaster.
Versatile midfielder David Court played for Arsenal in the 1969 League Cup final. Signing professional at Highbury in January 1962, he was given his League debut in Arsenal's 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa eight months later and played in every outfield position during his time with the Gunners. He netted 17 goals in 175 First Division games and helped win the Football Combination shortly before being sold to Luton Town for £35,000 in July 1970. Later with Brentford and Barnet, he ran a delicatessen in Brookmans Park, then was a compliance official for DBS Financial Management and is now back at Arsenal as a coach.
Outside-right Freddie Cox scored valuable goals in Arsenal's 1950 and 1952 FA Cup semi-final triumphs. He played for Spurs either side of the Second World War and served as a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF. Moving to Arsenal for £12,000 in September 1949, he was an FA Cup winner in 1950 and a finalist in 1952, scoring nine times in 79 First Division games for the Gunners prior to joining West Brom as player-coach in July 1953. He became Bournemouth's manager in April 1956, then managed Portsmouth, Gillingham and Bournemouth again and was a newsagent in Bournemouth until his death in August 1973.
Scotland international midfielder Alex Cropley was plagued by injuries whilst at Arsenal. The son of former Aldershot favourite Jack Cropley, he spent six seasons with Hibernian and was a Scottish League Cup finalist shortly before moving to Highbury for £150,000 in December 1974. He suffered two broken legs, netting five goals in 30 First Division games for Arsenal prior to joining Aston Villa for £125,000 in September 1976. A League Cup winner in 1977, he subsequently played for Newcastle United, Toronto Blizzards, Portsmouth and Hibernian again. He has since been a publican and a taxi driver in Edinburgh.