With a football career spanning more than 20 years, Tony Adams is regarded as one of England's greatest defenders and an inspirational character both on and off the pitch. Along with Nigel Winterburn, Steve Bould and Lee Dixon, Adams was a member of the famous Arsenal 'Gang of Four' defence that helped the Gunners to a glittering haul of trophies. He was an inspiration at the heart of the England defence and captained his country on 15 occasions.
Tony Adams was a one-club player, joining Arsenal as a schoolboy in 1980 and retiring in 2002. He played 668 matches for the Gunners, second only to David O'Leary, and scored 32 goals. In January 1988 he became the club's youngest ever captain at 21 and held the armband for an amazing 14 years. Adams claimed four league titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups and a Cup Winners' Cup medal ? including a League Cup and FA Cup double in 1993 and League and FA Cup doubles in 1998 and 2002.
The imposing centre-half made his England debut in 1987 and played in Euro 88. After skipper Gary Lineker's retirement in 1992 Adams stepped up and under his passionate style of leadership England reached the semi-finals of Euro 96. He went on to play for England in the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championships and made his 60th Wembley appearance, another record, in a World Cup qualifier against Germany in October 2000.
Always a player who led by example on the pitch, the man who became known as 'Mr Arsenal' showed the same gritty determination and no surrender attitude to overcome a drink problem, which he graphically documented in his critically acclaimed autobiography 'Addicted'. Helped by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, Adams turned his life around and foundered the Sporting Chance charity to help other sports people suffering from addictions. Adams, now assistant manager at Portsmouth, has become one of the most respected British sportsmen of all time and has been inducted into the English Football hall of fame.