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16 July 2024
Alan Morris & Charlie George at the Emirates Stadium.

My good friend Derek Almond took me to the Emirates Stadium to do a celebrity-guided tour in 2014. Our tour guide was Charlie George, an Arsenal legend.

About Charlie George.

Charlie George, born Frederick Charles George on October 10, 1950, is an English former professional footballer who played as a forward. He left an indelible mark on football, especially during his time with Arsenal. He began his football journey as a youngster with Arsenal & turned professional in 1968, making his first team debut on August 9 1969, against Everton.

During the 1969–70 season, he became a regular in the Arsenal side, making 39 appearances. His prolific form was evident in Arsenal's Inter-Cities Fairs Cup campaign, where he scored crucial goals. His most iconic moment came in the 1971 FA Cup Final. Deep into extra time, with the scores tied at 1-1, he unleashed a thunderous 20-yard drive beyond the reach of Liverpool's goalkeeper, Ray Clemence, securing Arsenal's victory & clinching the Double of the League & FA Cup titles for Arsenal.

How I met Charlie George.

I knew the legendary Arsenal player Charlie George would show us around the stadium. I didn't realise I would spend some time with just him & Derek at the side of the Arsenal pitch at the Emirates Stadium.

I had a great day on my Emirates Stadium Tour & saw the entire stadium. Charlie George, the ex-Arsenal player, showed us around in a small group. Whilst we were in the director's box at the Emirates Stadium, all the people on the tour were asking Charlie if they could have their photo taken with him & he was happy to pose for pictures with everyone. He must have noticed that I was walking with a stick & he came over to me & asked if I was okay & if I wanted a photo with him. I said I was fine & that I would like a picture taken with him, but I wanted it taken pitchside. He told me that was no problem & as we continued our tour & people walked down towards the player's training facilities & dressing room, he took me down in a lift so I wouldn't have to walk.

We looked around the stadium's training facilities & dressing room before making our way up the players' tunnel into the dugout area & seating around it. After Charlie had told us about the dugout & how the manager Arsene Wenger insisted on having seat number 13, which is a lucky number in most countries around the world, people started to leave & head towards the exits. I hung back, hoping to get my photo taken with Charlie. As he walked towards me, there was a security alert in the stadium as an unattended bag had been found near the dugouts & the stadium was being evacuated. I was a bit upset not to get my photo with Charlie, but as security started to lead us out, Charlie stopped me & told the security guard he would show us out. He then took me & my friend, Derek, back towards the pitch, blaming the alert on a tourist who had probably left their shopping somewhere.

He then happily posed for photos with both myself & my friend Derek & stopped for a chat with us before security came back & gave us the all-clear. It had been someone's shopping bag. Charlie George was always a great footballer & one of my heroes. Still, he proved what a gentleman he was that day by helping me when he saw I had trouble getting around & what a great man he was by staying behind for photos & chatting while the stadium was being evacuated.

Thanks very much, Charlie. You are a true Arsenal Legend.