Aaron Ramsdale reveals wife suffered miscarriage in days before north London derby assault | Football News

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has revealed he was still coming to terms with his wife’s miscarriage as he was assaulted after last season’s north London derby win at Tottenham.

The 25-year-old had kept a clean sheet as the Gunners won 2-0 at the home of their neighbours on January 15 to keep their Premier League title ambitions alive.

As Ramsdale collected his water bottle from behind the goal, Spurs fan Joseph Watts leapt onto the advertising hoarding and aimed a boot at his back. Watts was eventually given a four-year banning order having been charged with assault and throwing a missile onto the pitch.

Speaking immediately after the game, Ramsdale told Sky Sports: “It’s a shame because it’s just a game of football at the end of the day. I think both sets of players tried to bring me away. Thankfully nothing actually happened too drastic. It’s a sour taste.”

Now the England international has explained that he was already dealing with pain in his private life before the incident at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“There are things that go on in our lives that the public has no idea about, and the past year has been an emotional rollercoaster for me and my family,” he wrote for The Players’ Tribune.

“After the high of climbing to the top of the Premier League table and going off to my first World Cup, my wife and I found out that we were expecting our first child.

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A 35-year-old man admitted assaulting Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale after the north London derby in January and received a four-year football banning order

“Mikel (Arteta) gave me a few extra days off after the World Cup, so we went on a brief holiday. It was genuinely the happiest time of our lives. And yeah … there’s no easy way to say this, but I feel like it’s important that people know.

“On the flight home, my wife had a miscarriage. There’s really no way that I can describe the pain of that six-hour flight back to London, even now. I just want people out there to know that they’re not alone if they’re going through it themselves.”

Arteta offered Ramsdale additional time off – “in the middle of the title race, with so much pressure on the club… for me, that’s a manager” – but he opted to play on.

“Three days later, we were playing Spurs in the derby, and for me that was the only way to get my mind off things. Football has always been my escape. I told the manager I wanted to play,” he added.

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Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale claimed the Premier League Save of the Month title for his incredible stop against Mohamed Salah against Liverpool at Anfield in April

“It couldn’t have been a better night. We won 2-0 under the floodlights, and our away fans were going absolutely ballistic. If you watch the match back, you can see me beaming at the final kick of the ball. I went to get my water bottle behind the goal, and never in a million years would I ever think that I’d get kicked in the back by a Tottenham fan.

“I’ve had some very spicy banter with fans all over the English leagues. I’ve been called everything you can imagine. But it’s never crossed the line like that. I remember when I got back to the dressing room, I couldn’t even celebrate because I got pulled out to give a police statement.

“You know, I almost felt bad for the bloke who had done it, because I thought to myself: If he only knew me as a person, and what I’m actually going through right now, there’s no way that he would’ve done that. If we bumped into each other one day and got chatting about football, we’d probably be mates.”

Ramsdale to take a stand against homophobia in football

Ramsdale, who is now expecting a baby with wife Georgina, also wrote about the challenges faced by his brother, who is gay, and wants to see football become a sport that is a “welcoming place for everyone”.

“My brother is gay, and he’s lived his life in an open and authentic way since he went off to school,” he wrote. “I’m so proud to say he’s my brother. I haven’t talked about it before, but with everything going on in football right now, I thought it was important to mention.

“Oliver is a lot like me, in many ways. He’s a regular bloke. Loves football. Loves knocking about with his mates. Loves the Gunners. He’s proud of me, and I’m really proud of him.

“Over the years, I’ve probably bit my tongue a few too many times – both in dressing rooms and on social media – whenever I hear homophobic comments or stupid things being said. And I think maybe my brother has done the same, thinking it would make my life easier.

“Well, all that ends today. It’s not the easiest thing to be open like this, but there’s never a “right time.” I’ve been working on this story since the start of the summer, and my family has given me their blessing. If I’m telling my story, I’m telling it proper.”

He continued: “As a keeper, I’ve heard it all. You can say almost anything about me, and I’ll have a laugh. I might even turn around and say something right back to you. But when it crosses a certain line into homophobia or hate, it’s simply wrong.

“I can already hear the comments. “Oh shut up, Ramsdale. Stick to football, lad.” But this is about football. Football is for everyone. If you disagree, maybe you’re the one who needs to shut up and look in the mirror.”