Tony Adams: ex-Arsenal and England star joins Strictly Come Dancing line-up 2022 - career highlights, wife

Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams has signed up with Strictly Come Dancing

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The former centre-back and manager Tony Adams has recently announced he will be joining the BBC line up? Latest dancing contestants as Fleur East unveiled">BBC show Strictly Come Dancing later this year.

He will join the likes of Molly Rainford, Ellie Simmonds and Ellie Taylor has he dons the sparkles and sequins later on this September.

Speaking on his announcement, Adams, 55, said: “To say I’m excited is an understatement - the lure of the sequins and the call of the salsa has me swapping my battered old football boots for a set of Strictly soft shoes.

“i am absolutely thrilled to be giving it my all on this year’s 20th anniversary of Strictly Come Dancing. I can’t wait to meet my partner - God help her - and start the dancing.”

Here is all you need to know about the soon-to-be Strictly star Tony Adams...

Tony Adams: Arsenal and England

Adams was born in Romford in 1966 and began his youth career with Arsenal in 1980.

Three years later he moved up to senior squad where he stayed for 19 years. Adams is widely considered one of the greatest Arsenal players of all time and was included in the Football League 100 legends.

His debut for the Gunners came just four weeks after his 17th birthday and he soon became a regular in the 1986-7 season.

Adams’ statue outside the Emirates StadiumAdams’ statue outside the Emirates Stadium
Adams’ statue outside the Emirates Stadium

Adams, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn and Steve Bould made up Arsenal’s “famous back four” which was renowned for its disciplined use of the offside trap.

At the age of 21, Adams became the Arsenal captain and would retain his captaincy until his retirement from the pitch 14 years later.

With Arsenal, Adams won three FA Cups, two Football League Cups, a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and two FA Charity Shields and is the club’s most successful captain.

As well as playing well over 600 games for Arsenal, including over 500 Premier League fixtures, Adams captained his country and secured 66 international caps.

Adams first made his debut for england in 1987 against Spain but after a series of setbacks during the early 1990s, was left out of the 1990 FIFA World Cup and missed Euro 2002 due to injury.

He would return and continued to play until Rio Ferdinand emerged as an exciting alternative to Adams in the early 2000s.

Adams retired from international football have 66 appearances and after he had became the first, and only player to date for England, to make tournament appearances in three separate decades.

Tony Adams: the manager

Adams had a turbulent career as a manager, working with Wycombe Wanderers, Feyenoord, Porstmouth, Gabala and Granada.

He was sacked from both Portsmouth and Granada due to poor performances. He succeeded Harry Redknapp at Pompey in February 2009 but they went on to pick up just 10 points in 16 games.

Similarly, Adams was named as the La Liga side’s manager in April 2017 but Granada were relegated from the league, ending their six-year stay in the top division with Adams losing all seven games in charge.

He was subsequently sacked.

Tony Adams: off the pitch

During the mid-1980s, it became apparent that Adams was struggling with alcohol issues and he was reportedly often involved in nightclub fights.

In 1990, he crashed his car into a wall and a breathalyser found his alcohol level to be more than four times the legal drink-drive limit.

He was subsequently imprisoned for four months and became one of the most high-profile recovering alcoholics in the UK.

Wenger and Adams with the FA Cup and Premiership trophy in 2002Wenger and Adams with the FA Cup and Premiership trophy in 2002
Wenger and Adams with the FA Cup and Premiership trophy in 2002

Adams cites Arsene Wenger’s arrival at the club in 1996 as a key part of his recovery as Wenger reformed the club’s dietary practices and players’ lifestyles, helping the defender to overcome his own struggles.

Wenger reportedly stuck by Adams following his confessions about his addictions and the French manager was rewarded with Adams captaining the club to two Premierships and FA Cup Doubles in 1997-98 and 2001-02.

Adams is the only player in history to have captained a title-winning team in three different decades.

Tony Adams is currently married to Poppy Teacher. The pair have been married since 2004. His was previously married to Jane Shea from 1992-1997.

When does Strictly Come Dancing start?

Tony Adams is set to be in action from Wednesday 7 September 2022. Fans can tune into BBC One and BBC iPlayer to watch the former football star in action.