Leslie Compton

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Having spent 22 years at Arsenal, Leslie Compton is one of the Club's longest-serving players.   The staunch centre back also holds a footballing record. He made his England debut at the age of 38 years, two months and three days - the oldest British player to do so.   Leslie made his first senior appearance for Arsenal away at Aston Villa in April 1932, two months after signing as a professional with the Club. However, for many years he was a bit-part player.     After the Second World War he became a first-team regular and Compton was the rock in the heart of defence for five seasons from 1946, helping Arsenal to League and FA Cup successes.   He may have only scored six goals for the Club but among them was a vital strike in the 1950 FA Cup Semi-Final. With the Gunners 2-1 down to Chelsea, Leslie's goal ensured the tie went to a replay. Of course, Arsenal won it and went on to lift the trophy at Wembley.   Leslie was also a successful cricketer. He scored over 5,000 first-class runs for Middlesex and kept wicket for the country between 1938 and 1956.   And Leslie wasn't the only sportsman in the Compton family. His younger brother Denis played 60 times for Arsenal, though he is more famous for being a highly popular and talented England cricketer.   When he retired in July 1953, Leslie became a coach and scout with Arsenal. Later in life he suffered from arthritis and had a foot amputated in 1982, two years before he died.

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