If Peter Storey hadn't held his nerve, Arsenal would not have made history in 1971. It's as simple as that.
Storey was a vital - if unsung - member of Bertie Mee's Double squad and his crucial contribution came in March of that year as Arsenal stared defeat in the face at their FA Cup Semi-Final against Stoke City at Hillsborough.
|Arsenal Career||1961 - 1977|
|Appearances||501 (494 starts, 7 as a sub)|
Storey had already halved a two-goal deficit with a rasping second-half drive but Stoke looked set to seal a 2-1 victory, and book their place at Wembley, before Arsenal were awarded a stoppage-time penalty for a handball on the goal line.
The yellow-shirted Gunners leapt with joy - but not Storey. He had the unenviable task of beating England legend Gordon Banks from 12 yards to keep Arsenal's Double dream alive. Storey saw Banks go right and slotted the ball low to the keeper's left, cool as you like. Arsenal went on to win the replay, lift the Cup and complete the Double.
Storey made 501 appearances for Arsenal, but that was surely the most memorable.
He joined the Club as an apprentice in 1961 and started his career at right back, making his first-team debut against Leicester in October 1965. Storey would be a regular in the Arsenal line-up throughout the next decade.
His reputation as a tough-tackler was well-deserved; Johnny Giles of Leeds admitted that Storey was the hardest player he had ever faced. Nonetheless, Storey was also good on the ball. Bertie Mee and Don Howe recognised that, converting Storey into a central midfielder. From his new position Storey helped Arsenal win the Fairs Cup in 1970 and that famous Double a year later.
Storey was rewarded with an England call-up in 1971 and went on to win 19 caps, mainly in his favoured midfield role. He finally left Arsenal in 1977 and saw out his career at Fulham before retiring from the game in 1978.