Arsenal legend Thierry Henry fought back the tears at the unveiling of a statue of him outside the Emirates stadium, to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the famous London football club. The ex-Gunner was almost speechless when he found he would be immortalized at the stadium.
The Frenchman's statue was displayed alongside those of Herbert Chapman, the manager who guided the Gunners to their first championship successes in 1931 and 1933 and whom current manager Arsene Wenger described as the club's greatest manager and Tony Adams, the club's most successful captain.
Henry, 34, however, made it clear he would never have scaled such heights without his former Arsenal team-mates and insisted on underlining the importance of the team's contribution during his eight-year stay at the club.
When you look at the likes of the back four - Martin [Keown], Nigel [Winterburn], Lee [Dixon], David [Seaman], Lauren who came after, [Sol] Campbell, [Ashley] Cole - I am going to name the whole squad - Patrick [Vieira], Sylvain [Wiltord] too, who was underrated at the time because he was an amazing player. Robert [Pires] as well, Henry told Arsenal.com.
The striker confessed to not feeling so overwhelmed with emotions since he left the club in the summer of 2007, as he wiped away his tears in the middle of his acceptance speech.
When I left Arsenal [was the last time I was that emotional], Henry said, It's part of the past now, but when I did leave Arsenal, yes [I cried]. The guys might be thinking that I'm saying this because I'm here right now but I love Arsenal, I've said it so many times.
The truth is that Henry thought Tom Watt, Monday Fans' Forum Presenter, was cracking a joke when the presenter broke the news to the Frenchman. He was later overjoyed to find the news was actually true and beyond anything he has ever dreamt of.
I'm more than proud - honored, privileged. At the very beginning I honestly thought it was a joke, until I realized it wasn't. As I said out there, 125 years of history, when you know the players that have played for Arsenal Football Club and I was chosen to be out there next to the stadium, the Frenchman said.
I was fortunate to have won a lot of stuff in my career but that tops it all. You don't dream about that, it doesn't ever come into your head. Like I said many times, I always went out there in the Arsenal shirt and played 100 percent, he added.
The former Inter Milan and current New York Red Bulls player concluded by saying that he still supports the club and added that there was something very different about Arsenal; it remains a family club, according to his quotes in an Arsenal.com report.
Thierry Daniel Henry, who arrived at Arsenal in 1999 from Italian club Juventus, for an estimated fee of £11 million, made 369 appearances and recorded a massive tally of 226 goals and 92 assists. He left for Spanish league champions, Barcelona, in 2007.