Although no fresh photos of Cesc in a Barcelona shirt have appeared yet, the saga is finally over for Arsenal, and he’s not the first club icon to jog on…
Bobby Moncour Newcastle to Sunderland, 1974
The only Newcastle captain to lift any trophy of note – Scott Parker hoisting the Inter-two-bob Cup five years ago doesn’t count – Bobby Moncur is rightly seen as a hero on Tynside. The Scotland international scored three goals in Newcastle’s victory in the two-legged final of the 1969 Inter City Fairs Cup. He also led the Toon out on the hallowed Wembley turf for the 1974 FA Cup final before they got tonked 3-0 by Kevin Keegan’s Liverpool. That was a disappointed Moncour’s 296th and last game for the Magpies before leaving the club for their arch rivals Sunderland.
Sol Campbell Tottenham Hotspur to Arsenal, 2001
There was a time ‘you’ll never beat Sol Campbell’ was the most common chant heard at White Hart Lane. The Spurs and England lynchpin lifted the Carling Cup in 1999 and was worshipped by the Tottenham faithful. That was until – after spending half a season telling fans he’ll stay -he hotfooted across north London to play for Tottenham’s bitterest rivals Arsenal. Cue death threats, unsavoury chants and top spot in the Daily Mail’s list of football’s biggest traitors. Ten years on Sol’s still not welcome at The Lane. I will always hate him.
Kenny Dalglish Celtic to Liverpool, 1977
The boyhood Rangers fan who would become king had his arms over his head quite a lot during his time at Celtic picking up 9 trophies in 11 years. Kenny wore the armband for his final two seasons at the club being at the front of the cue to lift two Scottish Cups and a League winners trophy before pissing off to Liverpool for a British transfer fee £440,000. Celtic fans were not too amused and booed Dalglish on his first return Celtic park. Luckily – unlike Campbell – Kenny’s more than welcome at his old stomping ground now.
Gareth Barry Aston Villa to Manchester City, 2009
It’s hard to see what all the fuss was about now but at the time this acrimonious split between club and captain was a big deal. Who could have seen the fall out of Liverpool’s bid to prize the midfielder away in May 2008? The opportunity to play Champions League football turned Garry’s head and in an instant 12 years service to the Villains counted for nought; Liverpool’s unwillingness to stump up Villa’s £18 million asking fee was the beginning of the end of Rafa Benitez’s relationship with the Liverpool board; Barry’s frustration at the deal falling through caused an irrevocable rift between the player and manager. A year later he was sold for £12 million to a side who’d finished below Villa the season before.
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