Former Arsenal Defender John Roberts Dies at 69

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08:  The Arsenal badge is seen on the side of the stadium ahead of  the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton at Emirates Stadium on December 8, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Former Arsenal defender John Roberts died aged 69, the club confirmed on Monday, per their official website.

Roberts helped the Gunners win a memorable double in 1971, as the Highbury outfit surged to the league title and the FA Cup. He spent three years with Arsenal, having signed from Northampton Town in 1969; the defender also played for Birmingham City, Wrexham and Hull City.  

Roberts also won 22 caps for Wales.

“Everyone at Arsenal Football Club was saddened to hear of the death of John Roberts, aged 69,” read the statement on the Gunners’ website. “The thoughts of everyone at Arsenal are with John's family and friends.” 

The club released the accompanying image of Roberts on their Twitter feed:

Arsenal FC @Arsenal

Everyone at Arsenal was saddened to hear of the death of former player, John Roberts: https://t.co/ZyiGyczF7h https://t.co/dlSM0bt6ch

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson, who was also part of the iconic double-winning squad, paid his respects to Roberts via social media:

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Bob Wilson @BobWilsonBWSC

So sad to lose #afc John Roberts. Gentle giant & lovely friend. Played crucial role in 70/71 Double season.Thoughts with Yvonne and boys.

As noted by the Press Association (h/t Sky Sports), Roberts featured 18 times in that historic season, as the Gunners became just the second side in the modern era to complete a league and an FA Cup double.


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