Pat Rice, who was at Arsenal in one capacity or another from 1964 until 2012, with only a four-year break at Watford, was awarded the rank of Member of the Most Excellent British Empire this past week by the Queen for service to sport. Here is what he had to say:
Rice said: "I’m delighted and honoured to be receiving an MBE. The news of the award came as a complete surprise and I’m just so flattered to be included in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
"Football and Arsenal have been my life and I have so many fantastic memories during my career. I have been lucky to have played and worked with so many great individuals, and through hard work I have enjoyed some success along the way.
Pretty much nobody at Arsenal deserves this award more than the Northern Irish lad whose time at Arsenal spanned six decades. When Rice joined up, people who fought in World War I still had jobs.
Rice joins the ranks of the likes of Ringo Starr. He now outranks Pete Townshend (no order at all), but is some way short of both notable Arsenal fans Roger Daltrey and Ray Davies (both CBE).
Congratulations to Pat Rice from all of us here at The Short Fuse!