Arsenal legend Pat Rice MBE will be at Top Field next month to help turn on the new floodlights at EVO-STIK League Southern Hitchin Town.
The 67-year-old has agreed to be the guest of honour at the opening ceremony for the new floodlights after the Canaries announced that the Gunners were sending an Arsenal XI to give them a game on Thursday 10 November, the fixture coming nearly five decades after they provided the opposition for the first ever floodlit match at the ground back back on 27 November 1962.
Right-back Rice joined Arsenal in 1966 and scored 13 goals in 528 games before leaving in 1980 and joining Watford. After returning to Arsenal in 1984 as youth team coach, he went on to become Arsene Wenger’s number two until his retirement in 2012, winning three Premier League titles and four FA Cups along the way.
In total, he gave no less than 44 years service to Arsenal and was awarded an MBE in 2013.
Delighted officials at the EVO-STIK League Southern Premier Division club announced the confirmation of the fixture last Thursday after the Premier League giants agreed that an Arsenal XI would make fitting opposition for the 7.45pm kick-off in Hertfordshire.
After hailing Arsenal’s “magnificent gesture” last week, Hitchin Town secretary Roy Izzard is now looking forward to welcoming Rice to another historic occasion for the club.
He said: “Hitchin Town really look forward to Pat attending the floodlight inauguration game where he will perform a ceremonial ribbon cutting and thank him for agreeing to give up his time to come to Top Field.”