Tony Alexander Adams MBE, (born October 10, 1966) was an English football player. He was born in Romford, England, and joined Arsenal F.C. as a schoolboy in 1980, and never left. He had his first team debut in 1983 at the age of 17 vs Sunderland A.F.C.. Adams was a successful captain of Arsenal F.C. both in England and in Europe. He captained Arsenal to League titles in 3 different decades, which is unique. A solid central defender his long service made him almost synonymous with the steadfast Arsenal defence of the late 1980s and 90s which, under the management of George Graham, was renowned for its well disciplined use of the offside trap.
Early in his career, he picked up the derogatory nickname "Donkey" from opposing fans pointing up his errors, but that term fell out of favour as his reliability gradually increased over time. However, it resurfaced after the incident at an F.A. Cup final when he picked up fellow player Steve Morrow in celebration, only to drop him, causing Morrow to fall and break his collarbone. This incident resulted in the joke about Morrow being the only person to have broken his arm falling off a donkey at Wembley.
Towards the end of his long service with Arsenal - the only club of his career - he became known as "Mr Arsenal".
Adams was frequently involved in tabloid newspaper scandals. He was reportedly often involved in fights in night clubs and was fined for driving in a drunken state several times, and on one occasion was imprisoned for drink-driving in a swirl of tabloid frenzy. Adams admitted that he had struggled against the disastrous impact of alcohol throughout his career, and after treatment and retirement, he attempted to reinvent his public persona, by revealing a more sensitive side to his character.
He released his autobiography, Addicted, in September, 1999.
Adams retired from playing professional football in 2002 and became the manager of Wycombe Wanderers F.C. in 2003.
Adams made his international debut against Spain in 1987 at the age of 20. After 65 more appearances (13 times as a skipper) and 5 goals, he decided to quit international football to lengthen his Arsenal career. His last game for England was on October 7, 2000, when Germany beat England 0-1 in London.
Tony Adams participated in:
Euro '96 (semi-final)
WC '98 (quarter-final)
League Cup winner 1987, 1993
F.A. Cup winner 1993, 1998, 2002
Cup Winners' Cup winner 1994, runner-up in 1995
FA Premier league winner 1989, 1991, 1998, 2002
The Double winner 1998, 2002