Arsenal’s on-field success has been well documented. But what has never been written before is the equally remarkable history of Arsenal’s rebels, both on and off the pitch. Spanning almost 120 years, and set against a backdrop of turbulent social and political change, Rebels for the Cause assesses the legacy and impact of Arsenal’s most controversial players, officials and matches.
From hard men like ’30s player Wilf Copping to the reformed wild ones of recent years such as Tony Adams, Jon Spurling highlights the infamous figures whose refusal to conform has made them terrace legends. Mavericks such as ’80s star Charlie Nicholas and the ‘King of Highbury’ Charlie George are here, as are ’70s lads Alan Hudson and Malcolm Macdonald.
The book also focuses on the club’s revolutionary founding fathers, David Danskin and Jack Humble, the terrifying ’20s ‘soccer Tsar’ Sir Henry Norris and David Dein’s controversial introduction of free-market economics to Highbury in the regressive ’80s. Also investigated are the stories behind Arsenal’s most infamous tabloid exposés.
Featuring extensive interviews with 15 former players, Rebels for the Cause is an indispensable guide to the alternative history of Arsenal Football Club, shedding new light on the origins of the rivalry with Tottenham, on many of Highbury’s cult heroes and on the struggle of several players to adapt to life outside the game.