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Arsenal legend Ray Parlour recalls time Arsene Wenger agreed to cruel joke on Sol Campbell


Arsene Wenger signed Sol Campbell from Spurs in 2001 (Picture: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Ray Parlour has revealed Sol Campbell’s first game back at Tottenham after joining Arsenal was the ‘fiercest’ game he’s ever played in.

Arsenal and Tottenham are gearing up for the latest chapter in the north London derby this afternoon when Spurs pay a visit to the Emirates.

Rarely has a player played for both sides but Campbell is an exception – the former England defender made over 300 appearances for Spurs before leaving to spend five years at Arsenal.

And his former team-mate Parlour recalls Campbell not getting the warmest of welcomes upon his return to White Hart Lane as the rivals played out a 1-1 draw.

‘The fiercest game I’ve ever been in was Sol Campbell’s first game back at White Hart Lane – Woah!’ Parlour told talkSPORT.

‘I’ll always remember coming out [of the stadium], we got pelters, we got all sorts of things thrown at our coach.

‘When you come out of Tottenham you’ve got to do a hard left at a T-junction, and the police were on our coach telling us not to stop, just keep going as quick as you can, and it was dangerous.

Sol Campbell didn’t get the warmest of welcomes from Spurs fans (Picture: Tom Jenkins/Getty Images)

‘We went round this corner so quickly all the plates came out the cupboards – smash!

‘We thought the window had gone in!

‘That was probably the scariest and most intimidating game I’ve been involved in.’

Despite the hostile reception Arsenal received and Spurs fans labelling Campbell a ‘Judas,’ it seems Parlour and the rest of his team-mates took it in their stride and even found time to get Arsene Wenger to agree to playing a joke on him.

‘I shouted down the coach: “Boss, I’ve got an idea”,’ Parlour continued.

‘Arsene Wenger stood up and said: “What is it?”

‘I said: “Boss, why don’t we just put a sign on the window saying, Sol sits here, at least then they’ll get the right window!”

‘And I’ll always remember the boss’ reply: “Yes, that’s a good idea, we do that.”

‘Sol was just looking at me with a smirk on his face.’

Spurs sit three points above 13th-placed Arsenal ahead of today’s encounter.


MORE : Paul Merson backs Arsenal to finish above Tottenham this season


MORE : Harry Redknapp believes Tottenham have a ‘much better’ squad than Arsenal ahead of north London derby

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