‘He heard someone shout abuse and make the gesture of a gun…’ Why Campbell made his infamous half-time exit at Arsenal
Arsenal fans will not forget the moment Sol Campbell was substituted at half-time of a fairly innocuous Premier League game against West Ham in 2006.
What really happened at the time has been revealed in an extract from the former England defender’s biography.
Published in The Sunday Times, it reads: ‘As Campbell walked off the pitch he heard someone shout abuse and make the gesture of a hand fashioned into the shape of a gun.
Under pressure: Sol Campbell left Highbury on February 1 at half-time as he felt he could not continue to play
Courage: Campbell returned to training around a week later but it took 10 weeks for him to play again
‘It was pointed in his direction. As the index finger pulled the trigger, the fan’s lips made a little explosion and the mouth stretched itself into a bayonet smile.
The fan did not flinch. He contined to stare. And to sneer.
At half-time Campbell was not his usual self in the Arsenal dressing room. ”’I can’t go on”, Campbell said gently.
‘Gary Lewin, the Arsenal physio, said: ”What?”
‘story about Thierry Henry Biography Henry recalls: ”He had his boots off and I said, ”Come on Sol, put those on an let’s get on with the game”.’
Tough times: Campbell has said he needed to get away after a series of family issues
Gunner: Campbell played for Arsenal from 2001-06 and then again for a short time in 2010
Campbell’s biography sparked controversy last week when it was suggested that he was never made England captain for a long period because of the colour of his skin.
He played 73 times for England during his career but saw players such as David Beckham, Michael Owen and John Terry take the armband ahead of him. He only skippered the side on three occasions.
Did he deserve more? Campbell only skippered England for three of his 73 matches he played
Second youngest skipper: Campbell’s first game as England captain came against Belgium in 1998