West Ham physio Gary Lewin has jokingly threatened to kick any Arsenal player who goes down injured against his new team on Wednesday night.
Lewin spent 28 years at Arsenal, with 22 of those as the first-team physiotherapist, and is now in charge of West Ham's medical services, also having spent 20 years as England's physio.
Tuesday's match will see Lewin as part of the opposition bench against the Gunners for the first time. He has admitted that it will be awkward, but joked that he would have no qualms kicking one of their players if he goes down injured - if it means that the Hammers will win.
"I’m not sure what to expect really,” Lewin said, via the Evening Standard. “I still have a lot of friends over there at Arsenal, my cousin, Colin, is the physio there now and altogether, I was at the club for 28 years.
“If an Arsenal player goes down injured tonight, though, I’ll kick him – make sure he stays down! It’s about us winning.”
The 53-year-old started out as a keeper at Arsenal in 1978, aged just 14. He was released four years later, however, and was forced to rethink his career and try something different.
“I wasn’t sure what to do,” he said. “I was thinking about joining the police force or becoming a teacher but at the time, the England and Arsenal physio was Fred Street.
“I had been lucky enough to leave school with nine O levels and Fred asked me whether I had considered physiotherapy. He arranged for me to meet someone he knew at Guy’s Hospital. I spent a couple of days there and really liked it but I had to get some A levels first.
“I went back to my old school in Harold Wood and somehow scraped through the A levels after one year. Whilst I was doing that I played at Barnet who were managed by Barry Fry.
“Then, in 1983 I began training at Guy’s and Fred retired from Arsenal. In those days you only needed to be a sponge man so they asked me that, whilst I was training, if I do to take the youth and reserve teams.
“I did that for three years, qualified in June 1986, took my first job at Guy’s in the cardiac unit but within two months George Graham became Arsenal manager and invited me back to be the first team physio.”