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I worked as Arsenal goalkeeper coach for free, until Wenger insisted I was paid

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BOB WILSON has revealed that he was an unpaid Arsenal goalkeeping coach for over 20 years before Arsene Wenger joined the club.

The former goalkeeper joined the Gunners in 1963 and spent 11 years with them before retiring to become the first ever presenter of the BBC‘s Football Focus.

Bob Wilson has revealed that he was not paid to be Arsenal's goalkeeper coach for over 20 years

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Bob Wilson has revealed that he was not paid to be Arsenal’s goalkeeper coach for over 20 yearsCredit: Getty – Contributor

The highlight of his career saw Arsenal win the league and FA Cup double in the 1970-71 season, in which he won the club’s player of the year after playing every single minute of the campaign.

Despite becoming a massively successful television presenter following his retirement, Wilson, 82, revealed he never completely left Arsenal in an interview with the Telegraph.

After retiring in 1974, he continued to work for the club alongside his presenting duties because he “liked to keep busy”.

His role saw him mentor the likes of David Seaman, John Lukic and Pat Jennings through the years as England‘s first goalkeeper coach.

The dual roles saw him wake up at 3:20am, arrive at the BBC Studios at 4:30am, present at 6:30am before arriving for Arsenal training at 9:15am.

And despite starting that role in 1974, it wasn’t until Arsene Wenger joined the club in 1996 that he was finally compensated for it.

He said: “I hit it off with Arsene right away. He’s a genius with professorial intelligence.

“It didn’t matter what topics you turned to – politics, football, just something in everyday life – he had an opinion that made you think.

It was only when Arsene Wenger arrived that he insisted that Wilson was paid

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It was only when Arsene Wenger arrived that he insisted that Wilson was paidCredit: PA:Press Association

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“He has the most extraordinary brain and is so humble. We have an amazing new stadium – a huge part of Arsene’s legacy.”

The legendary Arsenal keeper also spoke of his fears that Bukayo Saka would be “kicked out of the game” due to the rough treatment he receives from opposition defenders.

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He said: “What drives me demented is we have one of the best young players and, if we aren’t careful, football will lose him by the time he is 24 or 25 because Bukayo Saka will have been kicked out of the game.

“People say, ‘What do you mean? That’s too dramatic’. I say there has not been a more kicked player in the Premier League than Bukayo Saka.”

Bob Wilson on Bukao Saka

“What drives me demented is we have one of the best young players and, if we aren’t careful, football will lose him by the time he is 24 or 25 because Bukayo Saka will have been kicked out of the game.

“Referees don’t seem to see or understand it. There are always a minimum of two players within five yards of Saka and often a third. If they can’t stop him, they kick him.

“People say, ‘What do you mean? That’s too dramatic’. I say there has not been a more kicked player in the Premier League than Bukayo Saka.

“If he is facing in an attacking position, and he is taking them on, that is the time I worry. I really worry for Bukayo.

“I see Saka up with the greats… if he is not kicked out of the game.

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