Ray Parlour – who is also lovingly known as The Romford Pele, spent 12 long, passionate years at Arsenal Football Club, appearing 466 times, and scoring 32 goals in the process. [quote_right]”Tenacity was one of Parlour’s greatest strengths, and one which certainly helped him grow into the hard-working midfielder that Arsenal fans grew to love…”[/quote_right]
Rising through the youth ranks, Ray Parlour’s first contribution to Arsenal was to concede a penalty in a 2-0 loss at Anfield. However, such an introduction to professional Football didn’t hinder the Englishman. Tenacity was one of Parlour’s greatest strengths, and one which certainly helped him grow into the strong, intelligent midfielder that Arsenal fans grew to love under the guidance of Arsene Wenger.
Parlour remained at Arsenal during the highly successful years between 1992 and 2004. His extended stay with The Gunners saw him play with some of the greatest players the club has ever seen, and allowed him to take part in some truly historic fixtures.
Despite spending his last three Footballing years at both Middlesborough and Hull City, Ray Parlour is an Arsenal legend in the eyes of many fans. In light of this, I have compiled an all time top 10 list of Ray Parlour quotes – to get a new, funnier and blonder insight into the life and times of The Romford Pele.
[title]1. Through Brick Walls[/title]
Ray Parlour was always a passionate, loyal Arsenal player. His love for the club was evident in every match he played in, and he has shown his allegiance to The Gunners on numerous occasions both in and out of Football. Here, Ray Parlour tells us exactly how far he’d be willing to go for the club who made him the player he was. We love you too, Ray.
[blockquote]”I’d put on a Red shirt and run through brick walls for Arsenal.”[/blockquote]
[title]2. Bould Is Bold[/title]
After Pat Rice was replaced by Steve Bould as the Arsenal assistant manager, there was much speculation as to how Bould would approach the job. As a Footballer, he was a tough, disciplined defender. Ray Parlour reckons that in terms of attitude, not much will have changed.
[blockquote]”Steve Bould was a real character in that dressing room area, he’s one of those sort of players that points a finger at people if you weren’t doing your jobs, and I’m sure he’s not changed.”[/blockquote]
[title]3. No Magic[/title]
One of the greatest things about Ray Parlour, is that he has never been under any illusions. He didn’t let his success at Arsenal go to his head. He knew what he was good at, and he knew what he was not good at. After being voted as the 19th best Arsenal player of all time, Parlour showed his gratitude to the fans, and gave short, yet precise evaluation of himself as a Footballer.
[blockquote]”What an honour. I’m pleased, because I wasn’t one of those players who stick out and do magical things every game, but I think [the Arsenal fans] liked how I worked.”[/blockquote]
[title]4. Arsene Wenger Was a Great Manager[/title]
It’s always interesting to hear the opinions of Arsene Wenger from past players, especially those who took part in the glory days of invincibility. Like most players, Ray Parlour only has good words to say about Arsene.
[blockquote]“I played under Arsene Wenger and thought he was a great manager when I was there. He was always one of those managers you could talk to, and is one of those sort of guys who will always try to stick up for his players.”[/blockquote]
[title]5. A Very Special Memory[/title]
As previously mentioned, Ray Parlour’s first appearance for the Arsenal first team was – for most, a fixture to forget. The poor 2-0 away loss at Anfield, was compounded by a penalty given away by Parlour himself. However, despite the gloomy circumstances, Parlour still cherishes the memory. Playing alongside the late, great Rocky Rocastle evidently had its impact on the Englishman.
[blockquote]”Although I gave a penalty away and the result [Arsenal lost 2-0] wasn’t good, it’s still a very special memory playing alongside the late David Rocastle, who was a fantastic player and a great influence on my career.”[/blockquote]
[title]6. Where’s My Apple Pie?[/title]
Ray Parlour has always been known for his jokes. In almost every interview he has given, he has alluded to some of the antics of his past, or cracked some clever one-liners. In this next quote, Parlour describes a scene starring Arsene Wenger, who, when asked about his Apple Pie, had no option but to reply that he simply didn’t see it.
[blockquote]”Once, we were in a hotel, and Arsene Wenger went up to the dessert trolley whilst everybody is sitting down as normal. He’s got the spatula out with his Apple Pie, and as he has turned around, the pie fell off his plate. And you talk about he doesn’t see a lot – but he didn’t see his Apple Pie fall off his plate I’m telling you! So he’s walked through all of the players, with everybody smiling, watching and waiting. He finally sits down at his table, gets his spoon out, looks down, and says, “Where’s my Apple Pie?”.”[/blockquote]
[title]7. They’re a Bit Confident…[/title]
Yet again, Parlour delivers the comedy. According to the Englishman, the old Arsenal squad were no strangers to funny pranks and antics both inside and outside the dressing room. Here, Ray Parlour describes a comical away day, at the expense of Bolton Wanderers.
[blockquote]”Sometimes we used to do little jokes before the game. One time, against Bolton, we were in the tunnel, and we were all really laughing, and the Bolton lot were looking at us [in shock] saying “They’re a bit confident aren’t they!”, but it was because we had been joking around in the dressing room. I think we won that game 5-0, and we were still laughing at the same joke after every goal.”[/blockquote]
[title]8. I Loved Every Minute[/title]
Along with his comical side, Ray Parlour was also a dedicated professional. After spending 12 long years at Arsenal Football Club, Parlour become a fan favourite. The quote below shows that the love and admiration was certainly not one-sided.
[blockquote]”I feel very privileged to have played with such great players and proud to have played for Arsenal. I wish I could still play; I miss the banter in the dressing room – we had such a fantastic spirit. We got on well as a team and I loved every minute of it.”[/blockquote]
[title]9. One of my Best Mates[/title]
After playing together for a number of years, it’s easy to imagine Tony Adam and Ray Parlour being very close friends. Both have a similar personality, and both were excellent players for The Gunners. Out of all the wonderful goals Parlour has seen from Henry, Bergkamp, Pires and more. Ray chose Tony Adams’ strike against Everton as his personal favourite.
[blockquote]”The goal that sticks vividly in my mind is Tony’s against Everton – a left-foot half-volley straight in the corner to clinch the championship. An amazing moment, an amazing goal, from the boot of one of my best mates.”[/blockquote]
[title]10. Maybe One Day…[/title]
It would be great to see Ray Parlour back in the world of Football in one way, shape or form. A coaching role at Arsenal would surely be welcomed by the club and fans alike. However, when asked about his coaching or managerial future, Parlour was undecided.
[blockquote]”I haven’t done my badges. Maybe one day I’ll wake up and want to be back on the pitch, so maybe one day I will, but not at the moment.”[/blockquote]
So there you have it. Ten of the very best Ray Parlour quotes, all of which give an extra, slightly more comical view of his time at Arsenal. Hard work, tenacity, loyalty and a good sense of humour are traits held by Ray Parlour, all of which make him a symbol of love and admiration for Arsenal fans across the globe.
Ray Parlour was voted as the 19th greatest Arsenal player of all time, and for good reason. The Englishman was a tough tackler, and knew how to pick out a pass. I’m sure that every Arsenal fan would heartily welcome him back to the club, if he should ever decide to return.
What’s your favourite Ray Parlour quote? Share it with us in the comments section below.