09 May, 2008

Grove Street

Hands up who remembers Perry Groves. He was a very bizarre looking ginger gentleman who played for Arsenal for six years starting in 1986. The ex-winger, now 43, won two league championship medals and a league cup medal without even really threatening to contribute. Now he’s back in the game…metaphorically speaking of course.

Mr Groves has sky-rocketed back into the news (and maybe some peoples’ hearts) this week after being arrested by police for, get this, using foul and abusive language. I have never been so appalled in my life. I mean its one thing hearing a tramp by the underground calling a hamburger wrapper “a faggot,” but to hear of such behaviour from a role model for children around the world? I am flabbergasted. He has been given a fixed penalty notice after being arrested in the centre of his glamorous hometown of Colchester, but seriously the only way to cut down on such behaviour is to stick offenders on prison ships and float them out to the high-seas to fight to the death for food.

A police spokeswoman said today: “Police issued a 43-year-old man from Colchester with a fixed penalty notice for a Section 5 public order offence of using abusive and insulting words and behaviour, likely to cause harassment.” Unfortunately we have no insight into what exactly he said, but word on the street is that it was sexually-threatening in a bestial sense, and involved the infamous ‘c-word.’ Under new legislation police fines for such offences range from £50 to £80, and can be issued for a variety of horrible hooliganistic acts including littering, creating a nuisance by causing noise, throwing fireworks and being drunk. No word on whether gun crime or drug dealing are covered by these anti-social behaviour laws but I reckon we’ll get there eventually.

Groves, who also played for Colchester and Southampton, is apparently now a sales representative and soccer pundit, while also moonlighting as a writer. Two years ago Groves, whose career was cut short in 1995 by an achilles tendon injury, wrote an acclaimed autobiography called We All Live in a Perry Groves World, lifting the lid on his boozy antics while part of the Arsenal team with Tony Adams and Paul Merson. “Arsenal's position at the top of soccer's hard-drinking league is fully justified,” he wrote, “I was a member of the serious drinking squad. When Anders Limpar joined Arsenal, he just shook his head at the way some of us would drink seven or eight pints after a game or a training session.” He also mentioned that after seeing Groves actually play, everything fell into place.

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