Lee Dixon says a “touching” compliment from Tony Adams towards the end of their careers was one of his proudest moments.
The legendary defenders were key members of Arsenal’s famous back four, and won a host of trophies during their time at the club.
Dixon remains close to Adams and says he will never forget one particular moment with his former captain.
“It is quite emotional for me and it [happened] right at the end of our careers together,” Dixon told Arsenal Player. “I looked up to Tony as a leader of men and I’m sure he looked at me as part of his defence.
“I’m not sure what game it was but it was right at the end of the season in 2002 and Tony was struggling with an injury. We were just about to retire at the end of that season so we were ticking off the days because it was tough.
“I was 38 and he was 36 or 35 years old, carrying a couple of injuries, and I got him out of trouble as the ball went over the top - I swept up behind him and knocked it back to David Seaman who knocked it up the pitch.
“As we moved up, Tony called over to me and said: ‘Dicko!’ so I looked over to him and he just pointed at me and said: ‘You’re one hell of a full back’. It sort of makes me feel emotional thinking about it now and I sort of went ‘Wow, Tony Adams thinks I’m a hell of a full back'.
“That really touched me as I was always one of those players who had to work really hard at my game to stay at that level and I was always thought that someone was going to tap me on the shoulder and say, ‘Time now, you’ve won a competition but now it is time for you to leave’.
“I always had that feeling and it drove me on to try to be better and try to stay in the team as long as I could - 619 games later I didn’t do too bad. That one moment of Tony saying that I’m one hell of a full back was gold dust to me.”
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