Arsenal History: Who remembers “We all live in a Perry Groves land”?

“We all live in a Perry Groves land”

In 1965 one of Arsenals most hardworking players who’s still chanted about to this day was born, his names Perry Groves.

The winger born in Bow, London featured for Cornard Dynamos in the settlement of Great Cornard on the Suffolk-Essex border.  Shortly afterwards Groves went on a trial at Wolves as a youngster before agreeing to become an apprentice at Colchester United in 1981. He became a pro a year onwards and over the span of the next four campaigns netted 25 times in 142 matches.

In September 1986 he arrived at Highbury for £50,000 becoming Arsenals new manager George Grahams first ever purchase at the club, he made his debut in a 0-0 stalemate with Luton Town within his first month.

In his first proper season Groves played a role in the side which lifted the 1986/98 League Cup versus Liverpool after a late 2-1 victory was achieved where he assisted Charlie Nicholas’s winner.

Known for his pure enthusiasm and speed and great effort he played in near enough all of Arsenals matches in the 1987/88 season.  During the campaign he would help The Gunners secure their second League Cup Final in 1988 against Luton Town which they eventually lost 3-2 anti-climatically. Groves grabbed the only goal of the semi-final away tie versus Everton.

Despite playing in 46 games in all tournaments that year the signing of Brian Marwood stole his chances to play and was regularly used as a bench warmer throughout the 1988/89 title clinching season. He ran off the bench on 15 occasions starting only six times. In Arsenals must win final match of the season to Liverpool Groves formed space for when Michael Thomas scored the title winning goal.

However an injury to Marwood brought Groves back into the starting line-up once more in 1989/90 season. Groves would soon enough resume his position on the bench after Marwood returned. Although this didn’t prevent him from sealing his second league title winners medal for the 1990/91 season mostly as substitute. After featuring 13 times in the 1991/92 campaign Groves departed for Southampton after the original commencing of the first ever Premier League campaign.

In August 1992 he signed for the Saints in a fee worth £750,000 but only appeared in 15 matches before stepping down from football league action whilst only 28, after two horrendous Achilles tendon injuries.

Not long afterwards he played a mere four matches for Conference team Dagenham and Redbridge before finishing his career with a one off performance for Canvey Island.

Since retirement groves has featured for numerous TV and Radio shows as a pundit.

He might’ve left Arsenal three decades ago but boy do the Arsenal fans still adore the now 58 year old, as they sing passionately “We all live in a Perry Groves Land” occasionally.

Liam Harding

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  1. As far as I remember it’s World not land as I saw him a couple of years ago at the Emirates, in the main concourse, entertainment after a game.

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