Three Future Arsenal Managers Play For Arsenal On This Day, 24th May 1967

Three future Arsenal managers in one Arsenal line-up. This might have only been a friendly but it must be unique to have had three players in the first team squad who would then go on to manage the club in question. It says something of the calibre of players that Arsenal produce or a sign of the intelligence of the players signed.

The three in question were Terry Neill, Don Howe and George Graham. Neill would play regularly with either of his successors; injury to Don Howe meant that the three never featured in a competitive match together. If you add George Armstrong and Bob Wilson to that list in recognition of their coaching at the club, nearly half of the team would continue to work for Arsenal when their playing days were over.

The line-up this day for Arsenal was:

  1. Wilson
  2. Howe
  3. McNab
  4. Simpson
  5. Neill
  6. Coakley
  7. Addison
  8. Graham
  9. Radford
  10. Sammels
  11. Armstrong

There is some doubt about the line-up as some reports have suggested that Jim Furnell started the match, replaced early on by Bob Wilson. Either way, the quintet were on the pitch for a fair amount of the match.

Of the remainder of the starting XI, only Sammels and Simpson did not actively pursue a career in the game after retiring as players. John Radford managed Bishops Stortford whilst Bob McNab went to coach in the USA and even took over as caretaker boss at Portsmouth after Alan Ball’s dismissal, having pitched up there originally as part of the consortium fronted by Milan Mandaric to buy the club.

Colin Addison would also go on to have a relatively successful managerial career which included being in charge of Hereford United during their successful 1971-72 FA Cup run that saw them beat Newcastle United with that goal from Ronnie Radford, before moving to the Middle East and Spain for short spells.