O'Leary - I almost missed Indonesia trip

O'Leary exchanges pennants before NIAC Mitra game
O'Leary exchanges pennants before NIAC Mitra game

David O'Leary will never forget Arsenal's last visit to Indonesia - but not necessarily because of the football.

The Club's record appearance maker was captain of the squad that played three matches in the south-east Asian country in the summer of 1983 but O'Leary so nearly didn't make the trip.

"I do remember the trip to Indonesia for all sorts of reasons," he told

"The main thing about it was that my son [John] was born a few days before the trip and it was a case of if he wasn't born on time, I wouldn't be going on the trip."

"The Club went on to Bali for a few days after the trip and I remember asking [club secretary] David Miles to allow me to go home as soon as the last game finished. So I went to Bali, had one night there and then caught a plane back to England to see my wife and son.

"As a squad we used to be out in the Far East, Singapore, places like that, Hong Kong. We'd play games at the end of a long season and the fans would always give us a tremendous welcome. The Indonesian people really looked after us.

"But the birth of my son is why that Indonesia trip stands out more than the others!"

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