Pat Rice is the Assistant Manager at Arsenal in the English Premier League. He has been the Assistant since the arrival of Arsene Wenger in 1996, at which time Pat was momentarily the caretaker manager. He is renowned for his work developing young players, and is tactically astute after many years at the top, both as a player and a manager.
Pat Rice was born on 17th March 1949 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He actually grew up in London, working his way around various youth teams up until signing for Arsenal as a 15 year old schoolboy.
Rice signed professional forms in 1966 and was a loyal servant to Arsenal for 14 years, taking over as captain and helping Arsenal to win some memorable trophies – including a league and FA Cup double in 1971. He then moved across to Graham Taylor’s Watford, captaining the team to promotion before hanging up his boots in 1984.
Pat Rice was retired for just a matter of weeks before being offered the Youth team coach role at Arsenal – paying Rice back for over 16 years service for the club as a player. He had notable success with the youngsters – winning the Youth FA Cup twice. When manager Bruce Rioch left the club in 1996, Rice was promoted to Assistant Manager whilst Stuart Houston temporarily managed the club. Houston resigned in September 96 to take on a managerial role with QPR, leaving Rice to make the spectacular rise to first-team manager in a matter of months.
Arsene Wenger agreed to take over as manager at the end of the Japanese season, leaving Rice on control for 4 games. When Wenger arrived, Rice was kept on as his Assistant Manager, and the pair have proved to be very successful, winning the FA Cup and League double a further two times, and winning many plaudits for their attacking football.
Pat Rice played internationally for Northern Ireland, captaining the side in the late seventies, but has not been approached for any international coaching work. As a loyal servant to Arsenal, he would probably refuse it anyway.