Steve Bould to become new Arsenal assistant as Pat Rice announces retirement

The 63-year-old, who won four league titles and six FA Cups in more than four decades with the Gunners, will step down with the former defender being promoted to replace him

Arsenal have confirmed that assistant manager Pat Rice will be leaving the club at the end of the season, with youth team coach Steve Bould named as his successor.

The 63-year-old joined the Gunners as a youngster in 1964 and won a number of major honours with the team, including one league title and two FA Cups.

As a member of the backroom staff, Rice has aided manager Arsene Wenger has he guided the club to three Premier League titles and four FA Cups.

It has been reported that reserve team coach Neil Banfield will also be promoted to the first team, with Boro Primorac remaining among the youth setup, but there has been no official word as yet.

In a statement on the club's website, Wenger said: “Pat is a true Arsenal legend and has committed almost his whole life to Arsenal Football Club, which shows huge loyalty and devotion to this club. 

10/1 Arsenal are 10/1 with bet365 to win the Premier League title in 2013.

“Pat has been amazing for me over the past 16 years. When I first arrived at Arsenal, Pat was always there and taught me so much about this great club.

"I will always be indebted to him for his expert insight into Arsenal and football as a whole. On the training pitches and on matchdays, Pat has always been a passionate, loyal and insightful colleague, who we will all miss.

“Thank you Pat, we’ll miss you and all of us wish you and your family the best of health and happiness for the future. Although, we’ll still see Pat a lot, as I know he’s planning to come to all the home matches as a supporter!”

There have been calls for a change of backroom staff at the Emirates for some time with a section of fans calling for the more vocal presence of Bould to replace Rice as the Gunners near seven years without silverware.