BY PAUL SAVILL / @PaulSavillUTA
During his speech at our wedding, my wife's father worked in my passion for Arsenal and noted that whilst writing his address he had been looking for a link between the Gunners and his home town club Leicester City. As soon as the words left his mouth I blurted out "First game at Highbury". My father-in-law said he had asked one of his brothers about a link earlier in the day and had been pointed in the direction of the 3-3 draw of 1954, whilst his own research on the official Arsenal website had led him to the twelve goal thriller that was the 6-6 draw in 1930.
I knew a bit about players who had represented the Gunners and the Foxes. The legendary Geordie Armstrong left London for Leicester in 1977 for a fee of just £15,000. His falling out with Terry Neill saw him reunited with Frank McLintock who himself had returned to Filbert Street for a single season as manager after nine years at Highbury and a short stint at QPR. The Scot had replaced Jimmy Bloomfield in the Leicester dugout - a man with six years experience wearing the red and white during his playing career. After scoring the winning goal in thr 1970 Fairs Cup Final and helping the Gunners to the First Division title in 1971, John Sammels submitted a transfer request which also saw him make a move to Leicester. His £100,000 deal, fuelled by a frustration that he had become the club's scapegoat, was finalised the week before the club secured the double at Wembley
Amongst others Kevin Campbell, Eddie Kelly, Jeff Blockley and Lawrie Madden all donned the jersey of both Arsenal at Leicester at some point in their careers while the two clubs also did business over Alan Smith. The striker, who was the top scorer in England during the 1989 and 1991 championship season, had been snapped up by George Graham for £800,000 in 1987, but due to the deal falling outside the league's transfer 'window' had to be loaned back to the Foxes for the rest of the season. Interestingly, he faced his new owners when City visited Highbury on April 20th of that year.