When Arsenal visited Queen Elizabeth II… and Eboue made her laugh

Theo Walcott shares a ‘great memory’ when Arsenal visited Queen Elizabeth II for afternoon tea in 2007… and Emmanuel Eboue made the monarch laugh by telling her ‘I want to look after your dogs!’

  • Former Arsenal players share their memories of meeting the Queen in 2007
  • The north London side were invited to Buckingham Palace for afternoon tea
  • Queen were due to open the newly built Emirates Stadium in 2006
  • As a result, the team was invited to their private apartments for a meeting
  • A minute’s silence was observed at Arsenal’s clash in Zurich on Thursday
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all coverage of the Queen’s death

Former Arsenal stars have taken to social media to share their memories of a 2007 meeting with Her Majesty the Queen.

Her Majesty was due to cut the ribbon on the club’s newly built Emirates Stadium following their move from Highbury in 2006, but was unable to attend and instead invited the team to Buckingham Palace.

Both Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Eboue were part of the Arsenal squad when they were invited to have afternoon tea with Her Majesty the Queen 15 years ago.

When Arsenal visited Queen Elizabeth II… and Eboue made her laugh

The Queen invited the Arsenal team to Buckingham Palace for afternoon tea in 2007

Thierry Henry guided His Majesty through his teammates, whom he greeted individually

The Southampton winger, now 33, retweeted a video of the Gunners’ royal encounter with the caption: “Nice memory this…”

And Ivory Coast right-back Eboue shared his memories to make Her Majesty laugh after telling her: “We went there and Thierry Henri said to me: ‘Please, Emmanuel, it’s the Queen’s house, don’t do anything.’

But despite a warning from his captain, the notorious dressing room joker couldn’t help himself and told a story that left both Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh laughing.

The Gunners were invited to the Royal Palace after the Queen was unable to attend the opening of the Emirates Stadium in 2006

“No problem,” I said, “Don’t worry.” So the Queen came in and went to shake each player’s hand.

“After she finished, I saw all her corgis and I said, ‘Ma’am, ma’am.’ He turned back and asked, “How are you?” I said, “Ma’am, I’m fine, thank you, but please, I don’t want to be a football player anymore, I want to look after your dogs.”

‘[I said to the Queen] “I want to take them for walks, wash them, feed them. I want to be a dog groomer.” The queen, frankly, was laughing. Prince Philip was laughing too. The whole team was laughing!”

Arsene Wenger even suggested that the facilities at Buckingham Palace were enough for 5-Apa

Arsene Wenger even suggested that the facilities at Buckingham Palace were enough for 5-Apa

A video was released late on Thursday night by the Arsenal Presser Twitter account detailing the north London side’s visit to Buckingham Palace.

The video shows the likes of Arsene Wenger and Henry leading the party to the Queen’s private residence, before the France legend introduces each player individually to the monarch to shake her hand.

The Gunners traveled to Switzerland to face Zurich in their opening group game of this season’s Europa League and only learned the news of the Queen’s death at half-time.

As a result, the restart of the second half was delayed for both sides to observe a minute’s silence in memory of His Majesty.

Both Arsenal and FC Zurich observed a minute's silence at half-time to commemorate the death of the Queen

Both Arsenal and FC Zurich observed a minute’s silence at half-time to commemorate the death of the Queen

Old Trafford also fell silent as players and fans paid their respects to the late monarch ahead of Man United's Europa League kick-off

Old Trafford also fell silent as players and fans paid their respects to the late monarch ahead of Man United’s Europa League kick-off

WHICH SPORTING EVENTS HAVE BEEN AFFECTED AFTER THE QUEEN’S DEATH?

Football

Manchester United’s Europa League clash with Real Sociedad at Old Trafford and West Ham’s Europa Conference League clash with FCSB at the London Stadium took place on Thursday afternoon with pre-match specials.

The Football League of Northern Ireland has announced that Friday night’s games between Cliftonville and Glentoran and Larne and Dungannon have been postponed.

The English Football League also confirmed that Friday night’s Championship game between Burnley and Norwich and the League Two game between Tranmere and Stockport have been postponed, while no decision has yet been made on Saturday’s games.

Cricket

Friday’s game between England men and South Africa at The Oval, along with all scheduled matches in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, will not take place.

Rugby Union

Northampton have announced the postponement of their Premiership Rugby Cup clash against Saracens scheduled for Thursday evening.

The Scottish Rugby Union has postponed all domestic matches this weekend as a mark of respect and the women’s summer international between Scotland and Spain on Sunday is also off.

Golf

Play was suspended for the day at the BMW PGA Championship and there will be no play on Friday.

Formula 1

Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix will go ahead as scheduled with a minute’s silence scheduled before Friday practice and another expected before the race.

Horse racing

The games at Southwell and Chelmsford on Thursday night were abandoned. The British Equestrian Authority also announced that meetings scheduled for Friday – including the third day of the St Leger meeting at Doncaster – were also cancelled.

Sport

The Great North Run, the world’s largest half marathon, is scheduled for Sunday. Organizers canceled the 5k’s sister event on Friday, with a decision on the main race expected on Friday.

Cycling

Friday’s Tour of Britain stage was immediately canceled and later on Thursday afternoon the rest of the Tour, which was due to finish in the Isle of Wight on Sunday, was canceled altogether.

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