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The world's greatest ground? A photographic centenary celebration of Highbury

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22. Charlie George, superstar

 
Early August 1972, and Charlie George knuckles down to some pre-season laps of the Highbury pitch. He's passing the imposing West Stand, which in 1969 had had seating for 5,500 put into its lower deck at a cost of £80,000 - £1.15m adjusted to 2013 prices - while still leaving standing room in front, as was frequently the way in those days. 
 
Islington-born George was a boyhood fan of the club he joined at 15;  he made his debut aged 18, on the first day of the 1969-1970 season, and with one of the last kicks of the following season he scored the extra-time winner in the FA Cup Final to give Arsenal the Double. He was still only 20.
 
An archetypal 1970s maverick, all attitude and flowing locks, George was disciplined twice by the club in 1971/72 – once for headbutting Liverpool's Kevin Keegan, once for flicking the Vs at Derby supporters after scoring at the Baseball Ground. He later made it up to the Rams – whom he had joined in 1975 after falling out with disciplinarian Bertie Mee - by scoring a hat-trick against Real Madrid in the European Cup.  

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