Bobby Gould

Bobby Gould was not the most gifted striker to pull on an Arsenal shirt - but few could match him for tenacity and desire.

Indeed, you could argue that Gould was exactly what the Gunners needed when he arrived from Coventry in February 1968. The Sixties had been anything but swinging for Arsenal but the unflinching spirit and commitment of their new centre forward helped haul the Club out of its malaise and back towards the big time.

Gould took just three games to open his account, scoring the only goal against Swansea in the FA Cup, and he finished his first season with a flourish, netting in each of his last four League games.

That boded well and, although Gould struggled for goals at the start of the 1968/69 campaign, he hit form at the turn of the year as Arsenal secured a respectable fourth-place finish in the League.

The pinnacle of that season should have been the League Cup Final as Arsenal took on minnows Swindon Town at Wembley. Gould headed Arsenal's equaliser - shedding tears as he celebrated - but it proved to be a bittersweet occasion as Swindon pulled off a 3-1 extra-time win on a quagmire of a pitch.

Although silverware eluded Gould, he can be proud of the role he played as Arsenal emerged from their 1960s slump. He was a willing worker, capable of turning an average pass into a good one by chasing down defenders and forcing mistakes. And although Gould's record of 23 goals in 83 games was hardly prolific, he was a deadly finisher at times.

Unfortunately, having contributed to Arsenal's rehabilitation, Gould found himself out in the cold. The emergence of Ray Kennedy and Charlie George pushed him down the pecking order and he joined Wolves in June 1970 after playing no part in the Fairs Cup triumph that season.

Gould went on to represent a total of eight clubs as a player before embarking on a successful managerial career. His highlight was surely the 1988 FA Cup when Gould guided Wimbledon to a shock 1-0 win over Liverpool - 19 years after scoring at the stadium himself.


My memory of Bobby is of him playing against Leeds. He terrorised the goalkeeper so much at corners that the keeper fumbled the ball into the back of the net. I don't think it would happen these days as refs over-protect keepers. I'll never forget Bobby Gould
Bob Livermore, Lancashire

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