Tony Adams: who did Strictly Come Dancing star play for?

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He will join Molly Rainford, Ellie Simmonds and Ellie Taylor when he dons the glitter and sequins later in September.

Speaking of his announcement, Adams, 55, said: “To say I’m excited is an understatement – the allure of the sequins and the reputation of salsa make me trade in my battered old football boots for a pair of Strictly Soft shoes.

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“I’m absolutely thrilled to be giving my all at Strictly Come Dancing’s 20th Anniversary this year. I can’t wait to meet my partner – God help her – and start dancing.”

Here’s everything you need to know about future Strictly star Tony Adams…

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Tony Adams: Arsenal and England

Born in Romford in 1966, Adams began his youth career at Arsenal in 1980.

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Three years later he was promoted to the senior national team, where he stayed for 19 years. Adams is widely regarded as one of the greatest Arsenal players of all time and has been included in the Football League 100 Legends.

He made his debut for the Gunners just four weeks after his 17th birthday and soon became a regular in the 1986/87 season.

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Adams statue in front of Emirates Stadium

Adams, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn and Steve Bould formed Arsenal’s ‘famous back four’, known for their disciplined use of the offside trap.

Adams became Arsenal captain at the age of 21 and retained his captaincy until his retirement from the pitch 14 years later.

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With Arsenal, Adams won three FA Cups, two Football League Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and two FA Charity Shields and is the club’s most successful captain.

As well as playing well over 600 games for Arsenal, including over 500 Premier League games, Adams captained his country and secured 66 caps.

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Adams first made his debut for England against Spain in 1987 but was ruled out at the 1990 FIFA World Cup after a series of setbacks in the early 1990s and missed Euro 2002 through injury.

He returned and continued playing until Rio Ferdinand emerged as an exciting alternative to Adams in the early 2000s.

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Adams retired from international football, having made 66 appearances and having become the first and so far only player for England to have played in tournaments in three different decades.

Tony Adams: the manager

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Adams had a tumultuous managerial career, working for Wycombe Wanderers, Feyenoord, Portstmouth, Gabala and Granada.

He was sacked from both Portsmouth and Granada for poor performances. He succeeded Harry Redknapp at Pompey in February 2009 but they only picked up 10 points in 16 games.

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Similarly, Adams was appointed manager of the La Liga side in April 2017 but Granada were relegated from the league, ending their six-year stint in the top flight with Adams losing all seven games in charge.

He was then released.

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Tony Adams: off the pitch

By the mid-1980s, it was revealed that Adams was struggling with drinking problems and was reportedly often involved in nightclub fights.

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In 1990, he crashed his car into a wall and a breathalyser found his alcohol content to be more than four times the legal limit for drunk driving.

He was then jailed for four months and became one of the UK’s most prominent recovering alcoholics.

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Wenger and Adams with the FA Cup and Premiership trophy in 2002

Adams cites Arsene Wenger’s arrival at the club in 1996 as a key element in his recovery, as Wenger reformed players’ dietary practices and lifestyle and helped the defender overcome his own struggles.

Wenger reportedly stuck with Adams after confessing his addiction and the French manager was rewarded with Adams leading the club to two Premierships and FA Cup doubles in 1997/98 and 2001/02.

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Adams is the only player in history to captain a title-winning team in three different decades.

Tony Adams is currently married to Poppy Teacher. The couple has been married since 2004. He was previously married to Jane Shea from 1992 to 1997.

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When does Strictly Come Dancing start?

Tony Adams is expected to be in action from Wednesday 7th September 2022. Fans can tune into BBC One and BBC iPlayer to see the former soccer star in action.

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