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Bob WilsonAlec's a credit to football and to Watford, says Bob Wilson

Arsenal legend Bob Wilson has given his full support to Alec Chamberlain's testimonial year, and described him as one of the most respected goalkeepers of the past 20 years.

Bob, of course, knows a thing or two about goalkeeping! He was one of the best of his era and a key player when Arsenal won the League and FA Cup double in 1971. Then he established himself as a leading authority on the art as the first specialised goalkeeping coach in the country.

"Alec has been an outstanding footballer, and a credit to the profession," said Bob, who was Arsenal's goalkeeping coach for 30 years. "He's a very gifted goalkeeper - solid, reliable, trustworthy and respected by his team-mates, and by his opponents.

"He quickly made a name for himself at Colchester, and it was no surprise when Everton came in for him back in 1987 - and remember, they were the champions at the time.

"But he was competing against Neville Southall for a first team place, and at that time Nev was one of the best goalkeepers in the world, let alone the country, so it was no surprise that he didn't manage to establish himself.

"But the experience clearly did Alec good, working every day with someone of Southall's quality, and eventually he went to Luton and established himself there as an outstanding First Division, as it then was, goalkeeper.

"It was some of Alec's outstanding performances that kept Luton in the top division for a year or two, and of course it's to his credit that to this day he's as revered by Luton supporters as he is by Watford fans!

"He then went on to Sunderland and did very well there, and then Graham Taylor took him to Watford," said Bob. "I know Graham rates that as one of his best signings, and regards Alec as one of the key players who took them on that fantastic journey from Division Two, through Division One and on to the Premiership in the late 90s.

"Alec has been a fantastic servant to Watford, and - as I said - he's been a credit to his profession. He's looked after himself, kept himself fit and even at 40 he's more than capable of holding his own in the first team, and has been unlucky this season that he's only featured a couple of times."

Bob is now confident Alec will move forward in his career and establish himself as an outstanding goalkeeping coach.

"He's got the experience, he's got the respect, he's an intelligent guy who knows his subject inside out, and I know that Richard Lee has been highly complimentary about the input Alec has had in helping him establish himself in Watford's first team this season."

And Bob says he is delighted Watford have awarded Alec his testimonial year. "He really deserves it. He's a model pro', respected by players and supporters, and he's been a great servant to Watford - as indeed, all the clubs he's played for."

Written by Peter Jones, of the PR consultancy Red Alert Media.

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