The Tuesday Club: Reminiscing on the good, the bad and the titles…

By on November 27, 2023

tony adams lee dixon arsenal

The Tuesday Club at Arsenal is an iconic part of 1990s football, with fans that stretch way beyond just Gunners looking back on it fondly. Partly through nostalgia, partly because that kind of access to footballers simply doesn’t exist anymore. After all, could you imagine walking into your local and seeing Bukayo Saka or Ben White sitting there? If anything, let’s be honest, it’s probably a good thing.

The Tuesday Club has made and broken many of that Arsenal squad, bringing players closer together, but also contributing to major problems outside of football for the likes of Tony Adams and Paul Merson.

It was a time where alcohol was prominent, as was gambling, and not even like today where many people enjoy a spin on the likes of American Steampunk roulette responsibly. No, they would bet on anything!

So, decades on, how do the players of that period reflect on the Tuesday Club?

Tony Adams

Tony Adams was the captain of the club and the ringleader of the Tuesday Club, a time that he does look back on fondly but knows how much it did take its toll on him.

He’s spoken out about how his mentors took him to the pub or bookies, and that’s what he did as new players arrived at the club.

He said, “It was like a light switch turned on for me. It was like, ‘this is my world, this is unbelievable this stuff’. The way it surprised all my thoughts and feelings, it was like ‘hallelujah!’”

It did put players at ease, but of course for Tony it led to severe alcohol problems, before finally getting sober a few years ago. He details much of his time drinking and his battle to sobriety in his book Sober. My Football. My Story. My Life.

Lee Dixon

Lee Dixon believed the Tuesday Club was a hugely important part of team bonding, bonding that helped take them to a number of league titles.

He noted in an article in the Independent that not everyone was quite on board with it though, including Martin Keown.

He wrote, “He told me that in his first spell at the club it was expected of him to have a drink with the lads from time to time. He is very strong-minded and didn’t join in with the drinking sessions. He might have a pint but he wasn’t part of the group and as a result he was cut off a little. At the time, that must have been very difficult for him. I admired him for having that strength of character.”

Giles Grimandi

As the Premier League started welcoming players from overseas, most notably at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, it became difficult for the Tuesday Club to continue, particularly with Wenger bringing in new and improved methods of training.

Giles Grimandi arrived at the back end of the Tuesday club in 1997 and enjoyed a night out with the lads. Well, we say enjoyed, Grimandi said earlier this year he thought he was “going to die” after a night on the town with Ray Parlour.

He told the story to The Sun…

“’I was only starting to speak English but I like good company so wanted to go,’

‘I went one day and I met many good drinkers. I said to Ray soon after, “I need to go home or I am going to die!” Ray was laughing.’”

Interestingly, he also spoke about how the cultures were different with many of the English players shocked that a French player was smoking, despite the day before all the English players being blind drunk.

Of course, there are many more stories to tell too, but we’ll save those for another day. One things for sure, the Tuesday Club was of its time, and we’re probably quite glad that £100,000+ a week players aren’t spending time on the lash!