Today is Tony Adams’ 57th birthday.
The Arsenal legend holds a piece of history that is unlikely to be matched in that he captained English league-winning sides in three different decades.
After April 12, 1986, the number 6 was the only one he wore for the Arsenal first team, but prior to that he sometimes wore 5 (and even 2 on one occasion).
It was the number 5 shirt that he was given for his debut against Sunderland on November 5, 1983, when he became the Gunners’ youngest debutant in 30 years.
As he recounted in his autobiography Addicted, there was a bit of a kit mishap:
It’s the kind of thing that feels like it could be classic embellish from an old pro, designed to elicit a laugh but it seems that in case Adams was telling the truth. As can be seen from a picture in the following day’s Sunday Mirror, the markings are on the back of his shorts.
While 6 would become his Arsenal number, Adams would go on to become associated with 5 for England during the 1990s. This is something we will look at in greater depth in a future post.