How Lee Dixon nearly blew his move to Arsenal in a service station car park

When you think of Arsenal under George Graham you think of the classic back 4 with Nigel Winterburn, Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Lee Dixon at right back.  The England full back played a massive 616 games for Arsenal, scored 28 goals and was voted 21st in the greatest ever players.

Speaking to the Quickly Kevin podcast Dixon told the story about his signing for Arsenal from Stoke and how it was very nearly off.

Arsenal had agreed a fee with Stoke for Dixon and he was driven down to meet with George Graham to sign his contract.  They didn’t meet at Highbury or the training ground but instead met in a service station car park.

In George’s car, he gave him the spiel about his vision for Arsenal and how Dixon was a part of it.  Lee was super excited and said I’m in but what about my contract?  George offered him £500 per week.  The same wage he on at Stoke.

On the way down Dixon got into his head the weekly amount he was after was £1k per week so plucked up the courage to tell the boss.

He laid on the guilt trip about moving his family down to London from Stoke and asked George for £1k per week.  George’s response;

I obviously got your character wrong

Brutal.  The Scottish manager stormed out of the car and into the service station to leave Dixon stewing.  The deal was off.

It all worked out in the end as the England full back got the train down to London the following week to meet with George.  The moment he walked into the marble halls at Highbury he was determined to sign a deal.  And he did.

Give Quickly Kevin a listen here.  You won’t regret it.

Check out our Arsenal collection including this banging Highbury print.



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