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David Price: 176 games, and yet not quite remembered

It is strange that a man who played 176 games for Arsenal and got an FA Cup winners medal for the win against Manchester United in which Alan Sunderland scored in the last minute, is somehow not quite remembered.

I’ve been working on the forthcoming book “Arsenal in the 70s” these past few months, and as I get to the end of the decade, David Price’s name is there much more than I remember him being there.  Indeed he was a very important member of the side.

Yes I recall him playing, but he never really seemed to become an absolute essential part of the team.  Indeed I was amazed to see just how many games he played.

So is this my memory once more playing tricks?  Probably, but maybe there is a little more.  My own guess (nothing more) is that having been a superb player in his youth (captain of England schoolboys, then a member of the famous FA Youth Cup winning side in the Treble Year (normally mis-quoted the Double Year – 1971 – forgetting that we won the FA Youth Cup too), maybe too much was expected.

But we must not forget that he suffered injuries after he left Arsenal and retired from the game early.  Everyone thought he would continue on and be a brilliant player.  But having risen so quickly, his talent seemed to fade and he drifted away.  Could injury have done that?

He was born 23 June 1955 in Surrey, and joined Arsenal in 1970 and made his first team début aged 17 in the end-of-season game against Leeds on  9 May 1973.

He hit the big time playing 51 times in 1977/8, and was part of squad that played three cup finals in a row – and was involved in the Talbot goal against Man U.  He also played in the Cup Winners Cup final against Valencia.And then at the start of the 1908/1 season he was replaced by John Hollins and at the end of that season sold to Crystal Palace in part exchange for Peter Nicholas.Perhaps part of the explanation is that he then got injured at lot and perhaps the reason he left Arsenal was that during his final season with us he did indeed start suffering from injury, and there was a fear it was reducing his ability.  If you know please do tell, so we can complete the story.  He moved on to Orient after Palace, and then stopped playing aged 28.  Wiki says that he is now a taxi driver in Croydon, which I suppose leads to the inevitable comment, “Ere – I had that David Price in the front of the cab the other day…”  (Sorry that’s not really understandable if you don’t get London humour).But let’s not be too negative.  He was part of that Cup Team at the end of the 70s, and achieved far more than most of us will even dream about in footballing terms.

The books…

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16 comments to David Price: 176 games, and yet not quite remembered

  • i forgot we swapped him for Nicholas. Price was way better than that tosh from Palace. Great article. Any news on the release date of the book?

  • les crang

    I’d like Price. Forgot he was exchanged for that useless welsh captain. I really can’t stand Peter Nicholas. Any idea on the book release?

  • ken lo

    David was agreat player, but suffered in the same way as Aaron Ramsey is today.
    He was a player you either loved or hated. but his contribution to the 70’s team was always 100%.
    I always wondered what happened to David, so thanks for this article.
    One question though, why is he not remembered at the Emirates in one form or another?

  • Martin cox

    Hi there, You’re right in saying that he was not quite remembered. I saw him play many times and he was definitely one of the unsung heroes. Just to let you know that the last time I saw him was when I played against him in a Southern Amateur League game in the late 80’s. He was playing for West Wickham and looked exactly the same apart from a bit of middle age spread. He still had all the skill and reading of the game. Maybe if we hadn’t bought Brian Talbot we would have heard a lot more of him.

  • robin banks

    Used to see David Price every morning when I used to use Arsenal underground to go to school. Don’t remember him much as a player but always noticed what a real gent he was. Always polite and mild mannered, and very humble.

    Wish him well whatever he’s doing today.

  • David is my cousin , gave me a ticket for the cup final against West Ham Arsenal lost 1 nil 1988?,Trevor Brooking with a header early in the game. I think David was underestimated in his talent for the game. Brian Jones

  • Graham

    David is a taxi driver in Croydon— I got in his cab a few years back.

  • Bill Pugh

    Hi I remember David Price very well & he was always a hard working pro t the credit h deserved a little like dare I sy David ays decade laer!

  • ChelseaChick

    Well this makes very interesting reading, I know David and knew of his Arsenal career, although he is very humble about it all, and doesn’t like to brag about it..! I don’t think he realises what an integral part of the team he was seen as, by many fans and football supporters.. Made me smile and I shall be showing him this article..! 😉

  • Jenny Wijsveld (Russell)

    David Price worked for my Father (of Purley Cars Ltd) for many years until the company closed.
    I knew him well and often saw him when I helped dad out of an evening or weekend.
    He was an absolute joy to be around….a very funny and genuine chap. We lost touch some years back and I sincerely hope he is happy and well.
    Chelseachick, please send him my regards!

  • Pete Davies

    He worked for Station Cars in Purley not Purley Cars.

  • Craig price

    David price is my 2nd cousin although I’ve never met him. He is 1st cousin to my father terry . When I was a kid he would send me photos and autographs of the arsenal team via his uncle fordy. I’d love to know how he’s doing these days

  • Mal coach

    Initial all I’m a Swansea City fan and I was drinking with be
    David at the game yesterday what a lovely and Happy man!!!

  • keith comley

    David Price, good player, he was at my wedding, or rather the reception was at West Lodge, Cockfosters and the Arsenal team were lunching there, he must have been late and had to break through our ranks as the photos were being taken! that right middle position was a problem position. Geordie Armstrong (when he played both wings at the same time) was best, the double team didn’t really have a right middle player, Storey/Kelly and Charlie George/Jon Sammels played in the middle, Pat Rice played up n down the right. Alan Ball didn’t really work, he wanted to play in the middle, Trevor Ross, The Yugoslav bloke was tried, and then Alan Sunderland came in, only to move up front when Malcolm McDonald go injured. All the 70’s players were lefties, George Graham, Brady, Rix …. No matter David Price, good player.

  • Denise McGinn

    I remember David Price as an Arsenal apprentice in the early 70s.He lived and boarded with Mrs Rowe in Boundary Rd Wood Green with another Arsenal apprentice Barrie Vassallo from Newport Wales.They use to have to be in by 10pm on a fri as the club use to ring to make sure they were home.I lived near and my friend and i use to speak to them frequently.

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