JOE's forgotten footballers: Glenn Helder 9 years ago

JOE's forgotten footballers: Glenn Helder

Glenn Helder has the honour of being the last ever signing by George Graham as manager of Arsenal. Often described as, perhaps harshly, the poor man's Marc Overmars.

The Dutch international was signed for Arsenal from Vitesse Arnhem for a fee of £2.3m. A week later, George Graham left the club. We are sure they are completely unrelated incidents. He's another product of the Ajax youth system and although he never broke into the first team there, he quickly made his mark on Dutch domestic football with decent spells at Sparta Rotterdam and Vitesse Arnhem that prompted Graham to sign him.


- Arsenal v Nottingham Forest

He only played 39 games for Arsenal in two seasons, scoring one goal. His rather flamboyant image - long hair, ears pierced and flashy suits - earned him the nickname 'Lionel Ritchie' from the Highbury faithful but Bruce Rioch wasn't a fan and after taking over from Graham he immediately ordered Helder to get his hair cut.

He duly obliged but, much like Samson, his powers seem to diminish. He has four caps for the Dutch national team and Irish fans might remember that it was his assist that led to Patrick Kluivert's (pic below) second goal at Anfield in the Euro 96 play-off between the two nations.



He was sent on loan to Benfica and unfortunately suffered a serious injury. Upon returning to Arsenal, he found that his place on the wing was now occupied by Marc Overmars. Game over for Helder at Arsenal so. After leaving Arsenal, his career was fairly eclectic to say the least as he popped up in places such as China, Hungary and the lower echelons of Dutch football. He eventually ended up at Dutch 3rd division club, RBC Roosendaal, where he made ends meet by drumming in his father's jazz band.

His personal life was tough. During his time with NAC Breda in 1999,  he admitted to attempting suicide because of his compulsive gambling problems. However, he continues to gamble and can sometimes be seen on TV poker tournaments representing the Netherlands.

He was diagnosed as having 'narcissistic personality disorder' following an assault on his former girlfriend's new partner which led to a custodial sentence in 2007. This is a diagnosis he refuses to accept.