The Romford Pelé: It’s Only Ray Parlour’s Autobiography

The Romford Pelé: It's Only Ray Parlour's Autobiography

Ooh, ah, Ray Parlour! Nicknamed the Romford Pele for his solid but unglamorous image, Ray Parlour is one of the most well-loved Arsenal players of the last few decades. A loyal club servant for over 14 years (1992-2007), he is revered among the Arsenal faithful for his down-to-earth Essex charm, his mischievous sense of humour and his hardworking performances on the pitch.

Often in the shadows of his flashier teammates, he didn’t have the flair of a Pires or an Henry, but he worked tirelessly to become an integral part of many of George Graham’s and Arsene Wenger’s greatest sides, including the Invincibles of 2004.

In this wonderfully funny and candid autobiography, full of side-splitting stories, Parlour looks back fondly on his life and career. From the all-day drinking sessions and banter of the Tony Adams years to the antics he got up to with his more cultured continental teammates, teaching Thierry Henry cockney rhyming slang and Dennis Bergkamp how to play golf, this is a portrait of a man who was as loved as much for his personality as for his often underrated talent.

From his days as a schoolboy working on market stalls to playing alongside the world’s finest players in the Champions League, it is also the rags-to-riches story of a career that spanned enormous change in British football, the likes of which may not be seen again.

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