Belfast Telegraph

Henry thrilled by statue tribute

Thierry Henry paid an emotional tribute to Arsenal and his former team-mates after seeing himself immortalised in a bronze statue outside Emirates Stadium on Friday afternoon.

The Gunners' record goalscorer was one of three club legends to be honoured as part of their 125th anniversary celebrations, with former manager Herbert Chapman and also captain Tony Adams, who led Arsene Wenger's men to the Double twice, each receiving a similar tribute.

"I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would have a statue like this in front of the stadium of the team I love and support," said Henry, who netted 226 goals as the Gunners won two Premier League titles and the FA Cup twice.

"The way the statue is gives the perfect example of the love I have for the club - me kneeling facing the Emirates Stadium and Highbury behind is amazing.

"I also have to thank the fans, you have always been special, and I always try to give my best, I know times it was not enough, but I always give it all out there on the field for you guys and the club.

"It is kind of weird to think of the amount of great players who have played for Arsenal, and for me to be right here, I have to say thanks to all of them, because I would not be able to be right there kneeling in front of this stadium, without them.

"Also, I must give a special thanks to my close friends....."

After taking a few moments to compose himself, Henry added: "I know some of the press used to kill me for not showing emotion - well, there you go, I am showing emotion for the club I love.

"Whatever I do, I do it with my heart, that is the way I am. It was not always easy to cope with the pressure of delivering, but from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank Arsenal Football Club for giving me this opportunity to be here in front of this club I love - once a Gooner, always a Gooner.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart, but I played with some great players too and it would not have been possible without them."

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