On September 12 2008 Steve Morrow returned to the club where he spent the majority of his career, being appointed as Arsenal’s ‘International Partnerships – Performance Supervisor’. Quite a mouthful and it sounds terribly important, but what is it exactly? Well, Morrow is responsible for the North London’s international partnerships which include the Colorado Rapids of the MLS in the United States. He also assists with Arsenal’s academies in countries such as Egypt and Ghana. But what happened to him during his career and the intervening years?
During his youth football days, Morrow played in his homeland for the Northern Irish side Bangor before signing for Arsenal in 1987. Over the next few years he had loan spells at Reading (twice), Watford and Barnet before making his debut for the Gunners in 1992.
The utility man, who could play as a full-back, centre-back or in midfield is probably most remembered for his time at Highbury for his part in the 1993 League Cup triumph over Sheffield Wednesday. After George Graham’s side went a goal behind, Paul Merson levelled the scores before Morrow netted the winner, one of just three goals he scored for the club. In the celebrations that followed the game Tony Adams tried to lift the Northern Irishman onto his shoulders but the Gunners’ captain slipped and resulted in Morrow breaking his arm after an awkward fall and being rushed to hospital, missing out on the trophy ceremony. This injury led to him missing the rest of the season, including the FA Cup final which was funnily enough also against Wednesday. Before the game kicked off, Morrow received his League Cup winners’ medal – making him the only player to receive a medal prior to a Cup final.
Due to his versatility he was always liable to get a game in North London because of injuries or suspensions but during his nine years with the club he appeared just 85 times. Along with his League Cup victory he also played in two Cup Winners’ Cup finals, beating Parma in 1994 and losing to Real Zaragoza a year later. By the time Arsene Wenger took charge in 1996, Morrow was seen as surplus to requirements and he went on loan to Queens Park Rangers before making his move to Loftus Road permanent. He made nearly 100 appearances for the West London outfit before heading to America to play for Dallas Burn in 2001. He spent two seasons with the Major League Soccer club before retiring due to persistent neck injuries.
The ex-defender returned to the US side (who had now renamed themselves FC Dallas) in 2004 in a coaching role but soon left due to personal reasons but a year later he was back as assistant coach to Colin Clarke. Morrow took over as Head Coach after Clarke’s dismissal on November 7 2006, a position he held until the end of the 2007/08 campaign when he was fired by Dallas’ General Manager Michael Hitchcock.
This paved the way for the former Northern Ireland international to return to the Gunners. In his role he helps the club’s international partnerships in places such as Thailand and Vietnam. He also works as a live match analyst for Arsenal’s online webcasts.