Tributes have flooded in for former Arsenal director Danny Fiszman, after the 66-year-old sadly passed away on Wednesday following a long battle with throat cancer.
Fiszman, who was a life-long Arsenal supporter, joined the Gunners’ board in 1992 and recently sold his shares in the club to new investor Stan Kroenke.
The businessman also played a pivotal role in the move of Arsenal Football Club from Highbury to Emirates Stadium in 2006 – a switch which has proved extremely successful.
Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger spoke of his respect for Fiszman as he has worked closely with him ever since joining the club in 1996.
"It is a very sad week because we closely followed his battle and I want to pay tribute to his absolutely extraordinary courage," he told Arsenal's official website.
"The way he fought the illness was absolutely amazing and sometimes I wondered where he found the strength and desire to fight it.
"For the club it is very sad news because he was a very influential man behind big decisions. He was always a big influence and you had to be impressed by his huge intelligence and his capacity to analyse every single problem. For the club it's a big loss.”
Ivan Gazidis, chief executive of Arsenal, revealed his sorrow at the passing of such a loveable character within the club.
"I am very sad. Danny was much loved at Arsenal Football Club, not just for his extraordinary vision and commitment driving our club forward but because he was a respectful gentleman whose passion for Arsenal was at the heart of everything he did. We will miss him deeply. I am honoured to have worked with Danny and I know that the many Arsenal staff who knew him at the Club share this sentiment."
While Kroenke - the man who wishes to build upon the dynasty of the last two decades which revolved largely around the work of Fiszman - also paid tribute to the work that the Englishman has done for the Gunners.
He said: "Danny’s unwavering commitment to Arsenal Football Club and the sport of football was amazing and inspiring. He taught me so much about the proud history and traditions of Arsenal. We not only lost a great business leader but a good friend. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this difficult time."
A fitting tribute to the legacy which Fiszman left at Arsenal has been made, with a bridge renamed at Emirates Stadium in his honour.
Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood unveiled a commemorative plaque on two separate bridges on Thursday – the other a tribute to the work that current acting managerial director Ken Friar has done for the club.
By Elliott Binkscomments