Forgotten Arsenal Heroes – The midfield Madman Eddie Clamp






Although Eddie’s time at The Arsenal was short, he made quite an impression on me!!!

Signed by George Swindin in November 1961 for £34,000 HE made his debut against Nottingham Forest on the 18th of that month.

It was Swindin’s last signing before Billy Wright took over and the two had played together in a strong League-winning Wolverhampton side, with Eddie playing more than 200 games for the Wanderers.

Despite having played together for so long, for some reason, Billy did not seem to like the no nonsense and tough tackling style of Eddie at The Arsenal and, just ten months into his Arsenal “career” he was sold to Stoke City for £35,000 – in those days, we did make a profit with transfers it seems!!!

In total he only played 22 games and scored 1 goal, but it was his style of play that took my breath away. I remember one game at Highbury, when I was standing at ground level in the west stand.

The ball went out for a throw in for us and Eddie came running over for the ball. I handed it to him and said “Come on Eddie, your one of us now” as most 16-year-old would…brash and demanding!!!

He looked at me, smiled and growled out loudly “Aye sonny boy” and took the throw in – I was so embarrassed, but also proud that he had acknowledged and spoken to me!! How pathetic it seems today!!!

His “playing style” consisted of intimidating, fouling, being a real hard man and completely running the rule over his opponents…let alone a spotty 16-year-old.

During his Stoke City playing days, he was described as being “mad” by his trainer, Frank Mountford and it is recorded as fact, that on more than one occasion, he would wait until the referee was out of sight, then would headbutt his opponent!!!

Another story involves Stanley Matthews and Ron “Chopper” Harris – it was after Chopper had poleaxed Sir Stanley and Eddie threatened Chopper in front of the ref.

The referee admonished Eddie who replied thus: “That’s the trouble with you referees. You don’t care which side wins!” Sir Stanley said in his autobiography that this was one of the greatest lines ever said on a football pitch.

When he retired in 1969, he ran a building and decorating business. His mother, Sarah, was the Wanderers laundry lady for over 30 years from the 1950’s and outlived Eddie by 11 years.

Despite his hard and madman image he was a very successful player, his stamina, strength and efficiency earning him a full England call up.

FA Youth Cup runners up 1953

League Champions Medal 1957-58 1958-59

FA Cup 1960

Second Division Medal 1962-63

England Full International – 4 Appearances

It is worth noting that the Wolves side he played in, missed out on a hat trick of league wins by just one point in 1960 to Blackburn Rovers, who Wolves then thrashed them in the FA Cup final.

In summary, not many fans will remember him, and I have done this article in the hope it might stir some memories amongst the old fogie group within the “justarsenal” brigade!!!

ken 1945

Thanks to Wikipedia and the Independent news.


  1. @Ken1845- yet again Ken, you have given most of us info on a player that we would never have known. You have to keep these articles coming, if only to get you out of the knitting for a while. Good job PAL.

  2. This old fogie – almost the nicest thing I have ever been called byw – remembers Eddie “Assassin” Clamp only too well. Not sure I am glad to though. I’d call him almost a professional hitman and actually saw him at Wolves with my older Wolves cousins at least two years before the signed for us. What a team Wolves had back then too! Not sure I’d call him an Arsenal “hero” personally Ken, BUT ANOTHER INTERESTING READ! He would be unlikely to last 10 minutes today without a red card . Almost every game too! He made Storey look effeminate by comparison!

  3. Another interesting read by Ken1945. Personally I was not a big fan of Eddie Clamp, An extremely hard man who kicked anything that moved and certainly took no prisoners. First time I saw him was playing for Wolves in those fantastic European nights at Molyneux in the fifties then in the 1960 Cup Final when Wolves beat Blackburn 3-0 in a one sided final after Dave Whelan became a victim of the famous “Wembley Hoodoo” with a broken leg early in the game. Really sorry to have to do this but have to correct Ken on one small fact, It was Burnley who pipped Wolves to the First Division Championship in season 1959/60 by a solitary point and not Blackburn. I’m sure Ken knows that , a simple typing error

    1. Appalling error by Ken, for which there is no excuse! OFF WITH HIS HEAD! BUT NOT UNTIL,HE HAS FINISHED HIS HOPEFULLY LONG RUNNING HEROES SERIES, EH!
      I also remember that Kenny, as I had and still have, via family connections, a very soft spot for Wolves.

  4. In actual fact Blackburn Rovers struggled that year spending most of it rooted at the bottom of the old First Division. only getting out of relegation in the last few games of the season. However when it came to the Cup run they were a different side. A forward line consisting of the 3 D’s. Douglas, Dobing and Dougan, they beat the three top sides in England at the time, Tottenham at White Hart Lane in Round 5, Burnley in a replay in Round 6 and Sheffield Wednesday in the Semi Finals to reach Wembley.

    1. Thanks for the correction Kenny, I will note it in my memory bank.
      Strange to think that Peter Simpson didn’t get one single cap and yet Eddie was awarded four – Peter for me any day, but Eddie has his place in the history of our club.

      1. Ken with the fact that such as Wee Geordie, Simpson,etc did not get a single FULL CAP , while such as Clamp DID, how about a series on uncapped players who should have been capped and, possibly, vice versa too?

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