Former Arsenal & England defender Sansom hospitalised

The 61-year-old made close to 400 appearances for the Gunners and was one of the Three Lions’ most consistent performers of the 1980s

Former Arsenal and England defender Kenny Sansom has been taken to hospital for an illness not related to coronavirus.

A message on the 61-year-old’s Twitter account confirmed he was receiving treatment but, while it did not disclose any further details, it confirmed the issue was not Covid-19.

The tweet read: “Kenny is currently ill in hospital. He is being well cared for and does not have Covid-19.

“Kenny’s family and close friends kindly ask the media to respect his and their privacy, plus that of the healthcare workers treating Kenny.”

Sansom played 394 times for Arsenal in all competitions between 1980 and 1988, winning the League Cup in 1987 and being named in the PFA First Division Team of the Year eight seasons running.

He also appeared 86 times for England, including at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups.

Born in London in 1958, left-back Sansom started his career at Crystal Palace, captaining Palace’s youth team to the FA Youth Cup in 1977 while also captaining England’s youth team.

After working his way into the Palace side in the mid-1970s, Sansom became a first-team fixture for four seasons at the Eagles before moving to Arsenal in the summer of 1980 having been named Palace’s Player of the Year in 1977 and 1979.

The individual honour was one he would win again at Arsenal in 1981, and he would eventually go on to spend eight seasons with the Gunners.

A consistent performer throughout his time at the club, Sansom was eventually replaced by Nigel Winterburn and Lee Dixon, and he joined Newcastle in 1988 just shy of having made 400 Arsenal appearances.

He would also go on to represent QPR, Coventry, Everton, Brentford and Watford.

Sansom’s performances for Arsenal saw him become – jointly with Peter Shilton – England’s most capped player during the 1980s, playing 84 times for his country that decade.

While England generally suffered disappointment at major tournaments, Sansom won the British Home Championship with the Three Lions in 1982 and 1983.

Sansom has sadly struggled with well-publicised alcohol and gambling problems since his retirement from the game, and in 2015 revealed he had contemplated suicide after the issues drove him into homelessness.