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May 10, 2012

Rice to leave Arsenal, Bould in

Arsenal assistant manager Pat Rice has announced his retirement at the end of the season, following 44 years' service at the club.

Manager Arsene Wenger has already confirmed that Steve Bould, himself a former player at the club, will step into the role from next season.

Rice has worked as Wenger's right-hand man since the Frenchman's arrival in 1996, having previously worked with the Gunners' youth team setup after returning to the club in a coaching capacity in 1984.

As a player he spent 16 years at the club; joining the youth team in 1964 before going on to make 528 appearances in 14 years with the senior team. He captained the side to FA Cup glory in 1979, also winning the league and cup in 1971.

After a four-year spell at Watford he soon returned to the north London club, eventually sitting alongside Wenger for his many successes in the Arsenal dugout.

"Pat is a true Arsenal legend and has committed almost his whole life to Arsenal Football Club, which shows huge loyalty and devotion to this club," Wenger said.

"Pat has been amazing for me over the past 16 years. When I first arrived at Arsenal, Pat was always there and taught me so much about this great club. I will always be indebted to him for his expert insight into Arsenal and football as a whole. On the training pitches and on matchdays, Pat has always been a passionate, loyal and insightful colleague, who we will all miss.

"Thank you Pat, we'll miss you and all of us wish you and your family the best of health and happiness for the future. Although, we'll still see Pat a lot, as I know he's planning to come to all the home matches as a supporter!"

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