Arsenal have honoured Dennis Bergkamp by unveiling a statue of him outside Emirates Stadium.
The icon, which is located outside the Clock End, to the south of Emirates Stadium, commemorates a Club legend who enjoyed an 11-year career in north London.
A large crowd witnessed the unveiling of the statue by director Ken Friar, which depicts Bergkamp in action for Arsenal at Newcastle United in a Premier League match on February 9, 2003.
This is such a special moment to come back and be honoured in this wayDennis Bergkamp
The former Holland international joined Arsenal from Inter Milan in June 1995 and went on to make a total of 423 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 120 goals. During this time he treated supporters to some of the most exhilarating and skilful play seen by any Arsenal player ever.
He played an integral part in Arsenal winning seven major honours, including the Invincibles’ unbeaten Premier League season of 2003/04.
The statue is located outside Emirates Stadium above the Armoury Store, and joins those of Club legends Herbert Chapman, Tony Adams and Thierry Henry. These were unveiled in December 2011.
Mr Friar, who unveiled the statue, was the Club’s managing director at the time Bergkamp signed for the Club. “Arsenal Football Club is proud that this statue of Dennis Bergkamp will be on display outside Emirates Stadium," he said. "Dennis contributed so much to the Club, while at the same time treating Arsenal fans to some of the most exciting football ever seen in this country.”
This statue is immortalising a true fans’ favourite and celebrating the wonderful contribution of a simply unique footballerKen Friar
“This will now give Arsenal fans and visitors to the stadium an opportunity to remember this legend and pay their own tributes to this great man. This statue is immortalising a true fans’ favourite and celebrating the wonderful contribution of a simply unique footballer, whose skill and ability were an absolute joy to behold.”
Bergkamp said: “I am just so honoured and today makes me very proud. It is great to come back and see everyone at Arsenal again.
“Everyone knows I love Arsenal and I had such a great time at the Club. The fans, the staff and my team-mates were fantastic. The team was also amazing and we had a lot of success over the years. For me and my family it was such an important and enjoyable period in our lives.
“This is such a special moment to come back and be honoured in this way.”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 22 Feb 2014