Arsenal fans and regular talkSPORT listeners will know Ray Parlour had a special talent for getting himself into mischief during his Gunners career.
From being arrested for punching a machete-wielding taxi driver in the Triad area of Hong Kong – yep, that actually happened, and it’s one of the most incredible capers we’ve ever heard – to almost being left behind in the Netherlands after going on an all-night bender during a pre-season tour.
Both of those stories share the same troublemaker. However, it wasn’t Ray.
Nope, it was his former roommate and club captain Tony Adams, who just loved getting his pal into trouble – a theme that began with Parlour’s very first experience with the senior squad.
Ray knew he had a big opportunity to impress manager George Graham when invited to join the Gunners’ first team at just 17 years old.
However, it ended in embarrassment for the poor Romford Pele, as he was victim to a hilarious prank.
This is the story all about how Raymondo was ‘stitched right up’ by Mr Arsenal in front of his new teammates and manager George Graham!
Ray explained: “I managed to get on my first ever trip – I was 17 and I remember getting that phone call you always wanted: ‘You’re in the squad’.
“I was really nervous. I was around all these great players – David O’Leary, Dave ‘Rocky’ Rocastle, Paul Merson, Tony Adams – and Tony was the only one I really knew well from the first team.
“He said to me: ‘Ray, do you know what you’ve got to do tonight?’
“I said: ‘No?’
“‘You’ve got to do a speech.’
“I said, ‘No! What do you mean a speech?’
“‘At the end of dinner someone is going to ding a glass and you’ve got to stand up and do a speech.’
“I said, ‘Tone, what do I have to say?’
“And he stitched me right up with the boss!”
The naive Parlour was told to thank the boss for the opportunity and to compliment Graham’s clothes as he apparently loved players talking about his clothes.”Right at the end just say ‘I really like the tank top you’ve got on.”Thinking he had been handed sound advice, he stood up to express his delight at being among first team players before ‘complimenting’ Graham, which drew fits of giggles from the room.”Tone then pulled me back to my seat and said ‘I think you’ve said enough now, son.’”George had the right hump!”
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