Steve Bould

Steve Bould
Bould as Arsenal's assistant manager in 2014
Personal information
Full name Stephen Andrew Bould[1]
Date of birth (1962-11-16) 16 November 1962[1]
Place of birth Stoke-on-Trent, England[1]
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Arsenal (assistant)
Youth career
1978–1980 Stoke City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1988 Stoke City 183 (6)
1982Torquay United (loan) 9 (0)
1988–1999 Arsenal 287 (5)
1999–2000 Sunderland 21 (0)
Total 500 (11)
National team
1994 England B 1 (1)
1994 England 2 (0)
Teams managed
2001–2012 Arsenal F.C. Academy
2012– Arsenal (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Stephen Andrew Bould (born 16 November 1962) is an English former professional footballer and assistant head coach of Premier League side Arsenal.

As a player, he was a defender from 1980 until 2000. Bould began his football career with his hometown club Stoke City where he gained a reputation as an impressive young defender. After spending seven seasons with the Potters, and becoming one of English football's most coveted centre backs, he moved to Arsenal in 1988. At Highbury he formed a formidable back line with Tony Adams, Nigel Winterburn and his former Stoke teammate Lee Dixon and ended up with nine major honours to his name. He left the Gunners in 1999 and ended his playing career with Sunderland.[1]

Since his playing career has ended Bould has worked at the successful Arsenal Academy as Head Youth Team Coach at Arsenal. He was promoted to Assistant Manager at the start of the 2012–13 season replacing the long serving Pat Rice.[2]

Club career

Stoke City

Born in Stoke-on-Trent, Bould signed for his hometown club Stoke City as a schoolboy in 1978, turning professional in November 1980.[1] He made his debut at right back in a 3–2 defeat away to Middlesbrough in September 1981.[1] However, he was unable to command a regular place in the team, and was loaned out to Torquay United in October 1982 to gain first team experience, playing nine league games for Bruce Rioch's side.[1]

Bould slowly became a regular in the Stoke side after Mick Mills switched him to centre back to replace Paul Dyson.[1] It proved to be a shrewd move as he excelled in his new position and became a first team regular for the "Potters". A back injury that required surgery cost him appearances in 1986–87 and arguably Stoke a play-off place.[1] By the end of the 1987–88 season it was generally acknowledged that Bould was now the best defender in Division Two. Both Arsenal and Everton made approaches for the defender.[1] After discussions Bould chose Arsenal and a tribunal set the price at £390,000, a small fee compared to what Stoke were demanding.[1]


He moved to Arsenal for a fee of £390,000 on 13 June 1988, and became part of their "famous back four" defensive line-up, with Tony Adams, Nigel Winterburn and his former Stoke teammate Lee Dixon. Bould won the First Division title twice in 1988–89 and 1990–91, playing in the club's famous 2–0 victory against Liverpool at Anfield where they won the title in the last minute of the last game of the season.[3] He was voted player of the year by the club's fans for the 1991–92 season, though it was a less successful season for the club as defending champions, managing only a fourth-place finish in the league and suffering an early exit from the European Cup, as well as a shock first hurdle exit from the FA Cup at the hands of minnows Wrexham.

On 15 August 1992, he had the distinction of being the scorer of Arsenal's first Premier League goal on the opening day of the season at Highbury, breaking the deadlock in the 28th minute although Arsenal went on lose the match 4–2 to Norwich City.[4]

However, injury ruled him out of the FA Cup and League Cup finals that Arsenal won in 1992–93, and his place in the team was taken by Andy Linighan who scored Arsenal's winning goal in the FA Cup final replay against Sheffield Wednesday.[5]

After winning the Cup Winners' Cup final in 1993–94, further success eluded Arsenal and Bould for several years, and the arrival of French manager Arsène Wenger in October 1996 led some to speculate the ageing Bould would leave the club (especially as he was now often second-choice behind Martin Keown); instead it spurred a brief revival, and Bould became an important member of the squad that won the double in 1997–98. He famously set up Tony Adams with a chipped throughball for the final goal in Arsenal's 4–0 win over Everton, the match that won them the Premier League title. Two weeks later they won the FA Cup to complete the double.

His final season at Highbury was a disappointing one. Arsenal reached the FA Cup semi finals where they drew with Manchester United to force a replay. With the score at 1–1 in the final minute of the game, Arsenal were awarded a penalty. Peter Schmeichel saved from Dennis Bergkamp and a winner from Ryan Giggs in extra time ended Arsenal's defence of the trophy. A month later they were beaten to the Premier League by Manchester United.


By now age was against Bould and he moved to newly promoted Sunderland in July 1999 for a fee of £500,000. Following the departure of skipper Kevin Ball in December 1999, manager Peter Reid made him club captain and he helped them finish seventh – just missing out on a UEFA Cup place. He stayed at the Stadium of Light until arthritis contributed to his retirement in September 2000 having played only 21 Premier League games for Sunderland.

International career

Despite forming part of one of the most secure top-flight defences of the late 1980s and early to mid-1990s, Bould won only two caps for England, far fewer than fellow centre half Tony Adams, and didn't make his first full international appearance until the age of 31. Both caps came under Terry Venables in Wembley friendlies against Greece (5–0) and Norway (0–0) at the end of the 1993–94 season.[6]

Coaching career

After retiring, he began working towards his UEFA coaching badges and in June 2001 moved back to Arsenal and became a coach for the youth teams. He was the head coach of Arsenal's U18 Academy side, whom he led to the Premier Academy League title in 2008–2009,[7] 2009–2010[8] and FA Youth Cup in 2008–2009.[9] On 10 May 2012, it was announced that Steve Bould would become Arsenal's new assistant manager following the retirement of Pat Rice at the end of the season.

Career statistics



Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Stoke City[1] 1981–82 First Division 20000020
1982–83 First Division 1400000140
1983–84 First Division 3821041433
1984–85 First Division 3832020423
1985–86 Second Division 330003020380
1986–87 Second Division 281502010361
1987–88 Second Division 300202020360
Total 1836100131502117
Torquay United (loan) 1981–82 Fourth Division 902000110
Total 90200000110
Arsenal[11] 1988–89 First Division 3021050362
1989–90 First Division 1903000222
1990–91 First Division 3808040502
1991–92 First Division 251000010261
1992–93 Premier League 2411050301
1993–94 Premier League 251303060371
1994–95 Premier League 310105082452
1995–96 Premier League 1900051241
1996–97 Premier League 330303020410
1997–98 Premier League 240503020340
1998–99 Premier League 190400040270
Total 28752903312323728
Sunderland 1999–2000 Premier League 2002000220
2000–01 Premier League 10000010
Total 210200000230
Career Total 5001143046228261715

A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the FA Community Shield, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup & Full Members Cup.



National teamYearAppsGoals
England 199420




  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Matthews, Tony (1994). The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City. Lion Press. ISBN 0952415100.
  2. "Pat Rice to leave post as Arsenal assistant manager". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  3. "Anfield 89". Arsenal F.C. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  4. "Arsenal 2–4 Norwich". Stat Bunker. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  5. Football photographic encyclopedia, footballer, world cup, champions league, football championship, olympic games & hero images by
  6. "Stephen Andrew Bould". Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  7. Tottenham Hotspur 0–1 Arsenal, Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  8. Arsenal 5–3 Nottm Forest, Retrieved 18 May 2010
  9. Liverpool 1–2 Arsenal, Retrieved 18 May 2010
  10. Steve Bould profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
  11. "Arsenal first team line ups". Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  12. Bould, Steve at
  13. "Steve Bould: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
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