The former centre-half is the second VIP guest to be confirmed for the sold-out event at the Adam Smith Theatre on Monday, November 11, joining Liverpool great Jan Molby on stage.
‘Mr Arsenal’ spent his entire 22-year playing career with the Gunners, making 669 appearances and winning 10 major trophies, including four league titles in three different decades. He captained the club for 14 of them, and also wore the armband for England, winning 66 caps for his country, and featuring in four major tournaments. He achievements are all the more remarkable given his off the field problems, having publicly battled alcoholism throughout his playing days.
Now aged 53, and sober, Adams is looking forward to bringing his tales of football glory and battling addiction to Kirkcaldy next month.
“I’m very much looking forward to coming up,” he told the Press. “My grandfather was from Edinburgh so I’ve got Scottish roots, but I kept that very quiet when I was England captain. I’ve got German roots as well! I was up for the Edinburgh Literary Festival when I was promoting my book, Sober, last year, where all the proceeds go to my charity. They threw Chelsea Clinton out the big room because I sold more tickets, which I was very pleased with.”
Adams joins a list of Arsenal icons to have featured at the Raith Hall of Fame including the Ray Parlour, Paul Merson and Liam Brady. He says he will bring a different vibe. “My talks are very different to be honest,” he said. “With my alcoholism and my addiction, it’s not like a typical gentlemen’s evening. It’s a very much holistic, kind of raw experience. I’ve done over 50 educational seminars for my charity so we’re not going to talk about blackouts and weeing myself, prostitutes and prison. Mine is 50 football, 50 recovery, and hopefully we’ll open it up because I’m always interested in what the people want to know.”
Adams served two months in prison in 1990 for drink driving, but it was another six years before the centre-half finally kicked his habit. “I did well, no regrets, I won a lot, and I think I fulfilled my potential as a person and a player, but I wish I’d sobered up a little bit earlier,” he said. “We won the league in ‘89 and ‘91, but then we didn’t win it again until the captain sobered up in ‘98. There was a lot of alcohol in the culture at the time so a lot of other people were drinking to the same level, but not with the consequences I had. But I was very blessed that I got another six years playing clean and sober, and I could say I won a couple more doubles while I was mentally, emotionally and physically free. Football’s given me everything and I wouldn’t change one minute of all that pain.”