Former Arsenal & England Star Kenny Sansom Being Treated in Hospital for a Non-COVID-19 Related Illness

Kenny Sansom
Kenny Sansom | Getty Images/Getty Images

Former England and Arsenal defender Kenny Sansom is receiving treatment in hospital, although it has been confirmed that he does not have COVID-19.

The left-back started his career at Crystal Palace where he was part of the side that won promotion to the First Division in 1979. His impressive form for the Eagles earned him a move to Arsenal a year later.

Kenny Sansom
Kenny Sansom | Getty Images/Getty Images

Sansom enjoyed a successful eight year spell at Highbury making over 300 league appearances for the Gunners and lifting the League Cup during the 1986/1987 camapaign. While this was his only major domestic honour, his performances earned him much individual acclaim and he was selected in the PFA First Division Team of the Year on no less than eight occasions.

The news of Samson being treated in hospital was revealed via his Twitter account on Friday evening.

"Kenny is currently ill in hospital," the statement began.

"He is being well cared for and does not have COVID-19. Kenny’s family and close friends kindly ask the media to respect his and their privacy, plus that of the healthcare workers treating Kenny."

After leaving Arsenal in 1987, Samson took in less successful spells at Newcastle, Queens Park Rangers, Everton and Brentford, before playing his last professional game for Watford in 1994.

Samson also enjoyed a storied international career, winning 86 caps from the Three Lions and scoring one goal. He played in several international tournaments and was part of the England team that were terrorised by Diego Maradona in the quarter finals of the 1986 World Cup.

Since retirement, Sansom has suffered well-publicised problems with alcoholism and gambling addiction. In 2015, he entered into a PFA funded detox programme.

His situation became so bad that he was homeless for a time, and he revealed that he had contemplated taking his own life in 2015.

Arsenal's official Twitter responded to the news, writing: "We're thinking of you all right now. Sending our love and support to Kenny and those close to him."