Alan Smith (footballer, born 1962)

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Alan Smith
Alan Smith 2014.jpg
Smith in 2014
Personal information
Full nameAlan Martin Smith [1]
Date of birth (1962-11-21) 21 November 1962 (age 58) [1]
Place of birth Hollywood, England
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) [2]
Position(s) Striker
Senior career*
1981–1982 Alvechurch
1982–1987 Leicester City 200 (76)
1987–1995 Arsenal 264 (86)
National team
1988–1992 England [3] 13 (2)
1990–1992 England B 4 (4)
England C
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Alan Martin Smith (born 21 November 1962) is an English former professional footballer who played as a striker. [4]


Playing career

Leicester City

A striker, Smith started his career at non-league Alvechurch in north-east Worcestershire. He then signed professional forms with Leicester City in June 1982. In his first season, he scored 13 goals in partnership with Gary Lineker, as the Foxes won promotion to the First Division. He spent five seasons at Leicester, scoring 84 goals in 217 appearances. He was transferred to Arsenal in March 1987, but then loaned back to Leicester for the rest of the season. [5]


His first league goal for the club came on 29 August 1987, when he netted a hat-trick in a 6–0 game versus Portsmouth at Highbury. [6] Smith then scored the first goal in Arsenal's 2-0 victory at Anfield in May 1989 which saw them lift that season's league championship. With Arsenal he then won another league title in 1991 as well as a League and FA Cup Double two years later. He also struck the sole goal in Arsenal's 1994 European Cup Winners' Cup Final victory against Parma. [7] Smith was Arsenal's top scorer for four consecutive seasons, and the First Division top scorer of the 1988–89 season with 23 goals. He also went on to win another Golden Boot in 1991. [8] [9]

Several clubs, including Watford, had expressed an interest in signing Smith just before he announced an end to his playing days in July 1995. [10] He received just one yellow card throughout his entire career. [11]

Smith scored 115 goals for Arsenal. All in all Smith has been ranked at 27th within the club's listing of the 50 greatest Gunners of all time. [4] [12]

Media career

Smith is currently a regular co-commentator and sometimes studio pundit for Sky Sports. In 2011, he commentated on the Champions League final alongside Martin Tyler.

On 30 June 2011, EA Sports announced that Smith would replace Andy Gray as Martin Tyler's partner in commentating in FIFA 12 . The pair commentated on the games up until FIFA 20 but they were both cut from the games for FIFA 21. Smith said on Twitter "Yes, gutted not to be involved with @EASPORTSFIFA anymore. For Martin Tyler and myself, it was an honour to voice the game for so long. But nothing lasts forever." [13]

Playing style

Tall and slim, Alan Smith was well known for his headers, [14] but during his career he demonstrated all round skills, including a deft first touch and the ability to chest the ball down or head it on for teammates to run onto. [15] Though primarily left-footed, he scored a number of goals with his right foot. [16] He was also known for his hold-up play. [17]

He scored in a number of important games for Arsenal, including the 1993–94 European Cup Winners' Cup final and scored one goal in Arsenal's decisive victory at Anfield in 1989. [4] Former Arsenal marksman Olivier Giroud has been compared to Smith. [18]

Career statistics


Source: [19]
Club statistics
SeasonClubDivisionLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
Leicester City 1982–83 Second Division 391311104114
1983–84 First Division 401510214316
1984–85 First Division391242214515
1985–86 First Division401910104219
1986–87 First Division421711324620
Arsenal 1987–88 First Division391131845016
1988–89 First Division362320524325
1989–90 First Division381020434413
1990–91 First Division372282434927
1991–92 First Division39121120444617
1992–93 Premier League 3137172456
1993–94 Premier League253215192417
1994–95 Premier League192103141274
Career Total46416234104720177564199


Arsenal [4]


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  2. Dunk, Peter, ed. (1987). Rothmans Football Yearbook 1987–88. London: Queen Anne Press. p.  46. ISBN   978-0-356-14354-5.
  3. Alan Smith at
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "Greatest 50 Players - 27. Alan Smith".
  5. Smith, Alan (3 May 2016). "Leicester have come long way from greasy spoons and post-match pork pies". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  6. "Arsenal appearances 1987/88".
  7. " – UEFA Cup Winners' Cup". UEFA. 1 June 1994. Archived from the original on 1 July 2013.
  8. Young, James (4 April 1993). "Football: FA Cup semi-final: Guy Hodgson meets the men at the sharp end in today's Spurs-Arsenal FA Cup semi-final at Wembley: Alan Smith – Arsenal – Sport". The Independent.
  9. 1 2 "Arsenal's Alan Smith". Getty Images.
  10. Young, James (21 June 1995). "Rioch signs Bergkamp to signal new era – Sport". The Independent.
  11. "GGM 42: Last-gasp Linighan clinches FA Cup | History". Arsenal F.C. 16 August 2007.
  12. "France striker Olivier Giroud deserves a lot more respect – Alan Smith".
  13. "Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  14. "Alan Smith's footballing memories". The Daily Telegraph.
  15. "Best Arsenal players: the 11 greatest ever". FourFourTwo. 11 April 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  16. Football History TimeMachine (2 October 2016), ALAN SMITH - Arsenal legend , retrieved 25 September 2017
  17. "Tony Adams: Perfect XI". FourFourTwo. 1 September 2006. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  18. "Wenger - Giroud reminds me of Alan Smith".
  19. "Alan Smith: Leicester City career stats". FoxesTalk Stats. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  20. Lynch. The Official P.F.A. Footballers Heroes. p. 147.