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.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches