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How Ray Parlour got one over Wenger to celebrate Arsenal’s 2002 FA Cup win

Date Posted,May 26, 2017

It would be hard to deny Ray Parlour a drink after his stunning goal in Arsenal’s FA Cup final win over Chelsea in 2002.

The Romford Pele scored the opening goal to ensure the Gunners victory and wanted to celebrate with a drink or two.

However, Arsenal’s season wasn’t over. They had a title-deciding game just around the corner and Arsene Wenger wanted his side fresh for the fixture.

Nipping any problems in the bud, Wenger told Parlour off for asking a stewardess for a drink, before following him to the back of the plane.

Arsenal’s two goalscorers against Chelsea celebrate with the FA Cup trophy (Photo: Getty Images)

The England midfielder had decided to go and sit among his family and have one of his brother’s beers, but his manager predicted what he was doing and followed.

After catching up with Parlour, Wenger threatened him with a fine of two weeks wages, which amounted to a staggering £30,000, if he was caught drinking.

And so Parlour sensibly opted against having any alcohol in the presence of his boss.

Arsene Wenger celebrates the Gunners 2-0 win at the Millennium Stadium (Photo: Reuters)

But the story doesn’t end there. The Romford Pele continued his celebrations away from Wenger at a restaurant with his brothers.

There he drank ten pints of Guinness and even fell over tables before heading home and getting up for training the following morning.

Parlour did his best to get through the session and left the training ground before Wenger was able to have a chat with him on the day.

Parlour went drinking before Arsenal’s crucial game with Manchester United (Photo: Getty Images Sport)

And so arrived Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Manchester United, which they won 1-0 to clinch the title at Old Trafford.

Parlour put in a man of the match display and Wenger asked to speak to him after the game.

The midfielder guessed someone had spotted him in the restaurant and that he was about to be hit with a fine.

The Romford Pele put in a man of the match display as the Gunners clinched a double at Old Trafford (Photo: Reuters)

However, Wenger instead said: “See, I stopped you drinking on the plane and that is why you played so well.”

Parlour later admitted in his a autobiography that he just didn’t have the heart to tell his boss the truth.

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