Don Roper

Don Roper enjoyed a long and successful Arsenal career.

The winger started out at local club Southampton during the Second World War, before excelling in Division Two in the first post-war league season.

Arsenal manager Tom Whittaker had paid several visits to watch Roper in action and made his move for the talented forward in the summer of 1947.

Roper arrived at Highbury with a reputation for goals and delivered exactly that in his 321 starts for the Club. He scored 95 times in just less than 10 years, narrowly missing out on entry to the prestigious '100 Club'.

In his first season, Roper helped Arsenal to the 1947/48 Division One title, laying on goals for the lethal Ronnie Rooke and scoring 10 times himself.

He switched to the left wing in the following season but was displaced briefly by Dennis Compton in the Gunners' FA Cup-winning campaign of 1950.

Roper quickly forced his way back into the first team, however, featuring heavily during the next two seasons.

He earned international recognition with England 'B' in 1953 and played once for the Football League in the same year.

Roper returned to former club Southampton in January 1957 and passed away in 2001, aged 78.

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