Tommy Caton

Tommy signed for Arsenal from Manchester City in December 1983 after the Maine Road club were relegated from Division One in the previous season.

The Kirkby-born defender had made his City debut aged just 16 years old and became the youngest player ever to reach 100 Football League games three years later.

He made his Arsenal debut against West Brom on December 4, 1983 and went on to make 95 starts, scoring three goals, alongside David O’Leary at the heart of the Gunners’ defence.

However Caton was usurped by the young Tony Adams during the 1985/86 season and found his first-team chances limited. After almost a year without making a senior appearance, the former England Under-21 international was sold to Oxford United in February 1987.

Caton went on to captain the U’s and steered the club to safety in his first season before moving on to Charlton a year later.

The defender retired with a foot injury in March 1993 after spending three years at the Valley. Then, just a month after the announcement, Caton died suddenly of a heart attack. He was just 30 years old.


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