By Rob Kelly

Robin van Persie says he brought Pat Rice out for a celebration in front of the Arsenal supporters on Sunday because he deserved one final farewell.

The Gunners' assistant manager is retiring after 44 years at the Club, and the vital 3-2 victory over West Bromwich Albion was his final match working alongside Arsène Wenger.

Rice was given the 'bumps' on the Hawthorns pitch afterwards, and Van Persie says the players just wanted to pay one last tribute to him.

"Pat has been with the Club for 44 years now, is a great coach, a great guy and an Arsenal legend," he told Arsenal Player.

"He is not somebody who wants to be in the limelight but we went in, got him outside and he deserves that.

"The fans were singing for him and it is just a fantastic farewell. A big thank you to Pat, he has been incredible. He is a true gentleman and a fantastic coach."

Watch the full interview with Robin on Arsenal Player.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 14 May 2012