Arsenal Drawn Into Apartheid Tour Row On This Day, 21st June 1981

Questioning the intelligence of footballers is nothing new. It beggars belief that knowing sanctions would be levied by clubs, football associations and Fifa that they still planned to go ahead with the tour. Which is before the issue of morality is addressed.

Sanction breaking by sporting tours was nothing new. Indeed there was already trouble brewing in New Zealand with The Springboks proposed tour which was due to take place the following month, bringing international pressure to bear on the Kiwi government. The tour continued despite protests.

This one did not and clearly the club were unhappy with it. They were not the only ones with the tour cancelled on June 23rd. Willie Young’s relationship with the club was already becoming strained and it reached breaking point later in 1981, ending in his sale to Nottingham Forest during December.

Sammy Nelson too left the club, joining Brighton the same year. He had already lost his place to Kenny Sansom.