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Arsene Wenger speaks of love for Bob Marley and The Beatles ahead of 2019 Legends of Football award

Former Arsenal manager tells of his love for music ahead of Nordoff Robbins event

Arsene Wenger, winner of the Laureus Lifetime Achievement award, speaks on stage during the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards
Image: Former Arsenal manager and music lover Arsene Wenger will receive the 2019 Legends of Football award on Monday

Former Arsenal manager and music lover Arsene Wenger spoke of his love for The Beatles and Bob Marley ahead of receiving the 2019 Legends of Football award on Monday.

The world of football and music will flock to London to honour Wenger, who follows in the footsteps of Sir Alex Ferguson, Brian Clough and Pele, at the dinner in aid of music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins.

The dinner, hosted by Sky Sports' Geoff Shreeves, has enjoyed 20 years celebrating the achievements and careers of some of the greatest footballers and managers in the beautiful game.

  • Legends of Football will honour Arsène Wenger at a star-studded event on October 7 at JW Marriott, Grosvenor House, London. Visit www.lofootball.co.uk to book your table.

Since 1996, legends Ferguson, Clough, Pele, John Charles, Sir Stanley Matthews, Sir Bobby Robson, Kenny Dalglish, Alan Shearer, Jose Mourinho and Eric Cantona, to name a few, have received this prestigious award.

Nordoff robbins

Wenger said: "Since leaving Arsenal I have received some interesting proposals some of which I am currently contemplating. However, one invitation that I did not hesitate to accept, and I am extremely honoured to do so, is to receive the 2019 Legends of Football award.

"I have always enjoyed music and I am excited to be involved in the work Legends of Football does to support Nordoff Robbins, which is a fantastic charity. Music therapy can change people's lives, across a broad spectrum of disabilities, and I will help in any way I can. I look forward to celebrating at the Legends of Football event on 7 October."

Sky Sports' Shreeves, also Legends of Football chairman, added: "Arsene is somebody who we have been wanting to honour for over a decade, so we are genuinely thrilled that he has agreed to be this year's recipient. His achievements at Arsenal were nothing short of spectacular and his name is etched in Premier League history.

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Arsene Wenger
Image: The Arsenal foundation funded a music therapy room as part of Nordoff Robbins' London Centre refurbishment

"He quite simply changed the face of the Premier League and will be an outstanding ambassador for Legends of Football and Nordoff Robbins in the year ahead."

Legends of Football has raised £8m for music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, the largest independent music therapy charity in the UK, dedicated to changing the lives of vulnerable and isolated people through the skilled use of music.

Legends of Football will honour Arsene Wenger at a star-studded event on October 7 at JW Marriott, Grosvenor House, London. Visit www.lofootball.co.uk to book your table.

For more information on Nordoff Robbins, visit their website here

Wenger's relationship with music

Interview with Geoff Shreeves

When you were a young man, what sort of music did you like?

When I was young man it was The Beatles, they were the revolution… Today, I still love The Beatles because it's simplicity, and it's a bit like in football, you know. When it's class it looks simple, and that music looks very simple and that's maybe why it has lasted so long.

Would you say that there is a piece of music that's always been on your mind, or something you have returned to often?

Yes I've said many times, Bob Marley. There's something in his life that is the symbol of what music is about, you know. He loved football. He enjoyed life. When you see those clips of him, playing football, he was more than decent with the ball wasn't he? He was more than decent with the ball yes, and I like the combination of football and music.

Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley
Image: Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley

What is it you like about the combination of football and music?

It speaks to emotions. I think music has a capacity to organise your emotions into sound and football is a capacity to express your body about what your mind wants, you know. Basically the expression instead of being an instrument is your body.

Could you see that music lifts people in your career?

That was the shock when I came to England, I personally believe that England is a country of football and music. That is why, I don't know but I think they live with their heart, with passion… In a dressing room in France it was super silent. They concentrate, they don't speak. In Japan as well. Then I came to England, there's music everywhere before the game and it was fantastic, I liked it straight away. I didn't try to fight against it.

nordoff robbins arsene wenger
Image: Wenger with Sky Sports presenter and Legends of Football chairman Geoff Shreeves

When you look back, is there any music that reminds you of a certain part of your life, or a certain time in your career?

"We are the champions" yes, "we are the champions". Yes, that's the song that remains and I think that speaks for every football player. That song was perfectly made for football.

Legends of Football will honour Arsene Wenger at a star-studded event on October 7 at JW Marriott, Grosvenor House, London. Visit www.lofootball.co.uk to book your table.

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