Steve Rowley: Arsenal announce tragic death of ex-head scout following short illness

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Arsenal announce the tragic death of former head scout Steve Rowley, 63, following a short battle with illness, five years after bidding farewell to the club after nearly two decades in the role

  • Former Arsenal head scout Steve Rowley dies aged 63
  • Rowley spent more than two decades in his role with the club before leaving in 2017
  • The Gunners paid tribute to his ‘instrumental’ contribution to their success

Former Arsenal head scout Steve Rowley has died aged 63 after a short battle with illness, the club have announced.

Rowley, who was crucial to the Gunners’ success under Arsene Wenger, spent nearly 35 years with the north London club and more than two decades as head scout, before leaving in 2017.

He first joined the club in the 1980s and worked alongside George Graham and Wenger, identifying and signing players who Arsenal say proved “instrumental” to them on the pitch.

A statement from the club read: “Everyone at the club is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our former scout leader Steve Rowley after a short illness.

“Steve, 63, had been associated with the club since January 1980 when he began a part-time role in our youth scouting operations in Essex.

“Notable early successes in identifying talent – notably Tony Adams and Ray Parlor – led to a full-time position when George Graham was manager.

“Upon his arrival in 1996, Arsene Wenger appointed Steve as Chief Scout, a position he held until 2017. For four decades at the club, Steve and his network of scouts were tasked with identifying and securing many players who have contributed to success on the pitch. for the club.

Former Arsenal head scout Steve Rowley has died aged 63, the club have announced

“Our thoughts are with Steve’s family and friends at this time. Rest in peace Steve.

Among many others, Rowley discovered talents such as legendary Arsenal captain Tony Adams and midfield stalwart Ray Parlor in his early days.

Graham was the first manager to appoint him full-time at Highbury, before Wenger eventually promoted him to head scout.

Rowley made a significant contribution to the Gunners’ glory days under Wenger, in which they became the first and only Invincibles in English football throughout a 38-game season.

However, he reportedly grew frustrated at being the scapegoat for the club’s failures in the transfer market which played a part in their demise before he left in 2017.

Rowley first joined the Gunners in 1980 and was later appointed head scout by Arsene Wenger

Rowley first joined the Gunners in 1980 and was later appointed head scout by Arsene Wenger

His work helped Wenger achieve historic success on his debut as Arsenal manager

His work helped Wenger achieve historic success on his debut as Arsenal manager

In 2015 he opened up about his role at Arsenal and said: “I’ll usually take interest from the boss about six or seven times during the season and I’ll say right now there are very good young people.”

‘Whether the manger continues depends on what he wants. He tells me, for example, what positions we need, then I will pass this information on to my scouts.

“But if we’re talking about youngsters, he’s not too worried. Good players are good players, you shouldn’t worry about position.

“Finally, if the boss wants it, it’s up to the money men to settle the matter and my involvement is over as far as the transfer is concerned.”

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