Tony Adams turned down 'Strictly' so he would be taken seriously as football coach

·Contributor
·2-min read
Football legend Tony Adams is preparing to take part in the new series of Strictly Come Dancing later this year. (BBC)
Football legend Tony Adams is preparing to take part in the new series of Strictly Come Dancing later this year. (BBC)

Tony Adams has revealed that he was approached for Strictly Come Dancing six years ago, but turned it down in order to protect his career as a football coach.

The former Arsenal and England defender will take to the dance floor this year as one of the contestants on the 20th series of the show.

Read more: Scott Mills reveals Strictly helped him conquer TV nerves

Adams told the Mirror he was always interested in being a part of Strictly, but worried that it would have an adverse effect on his future in sport.

"I still wanted to be a coach, which remains for me the best part of the football business," said the 55-year-old.

Watch: The celebrities lining up for Strictly Come Dancing this year

He added: "One of the main reasons I turned down chances to go on Strictly Come Dancing – despite the money on offer being good – was because I was concerned about not being taken seriously as a football coach after it.”

Adams retired as a player in 2002 after making more than 500 appearances for Arsenal and securing 66 England caps.

Read more: Dan Walker addresses critics of Strictly Come Dancing line-up

He went on to manage four different clubs between 2003 and 2017, but hasn't stepped into the dugout since he was sacked by Spanish team Granada after just seven games.

With his sporting career set to one side for now, Adams has decided to say yes to BBC bosses and join a professional partner for the broadcaster's annual dance spectacular.

Tony Adams spent the entirety of his football career at Arsenal and was club captain for more than a decade. (Getty/Arsenal)
Tony Adams spent the entirety of his football career at Arsenal and was club captain for more than a decade. (Getty/Arsenal)

Adams said it would be an "understatement" to describe him as excited ahead of his participation in the show, which was won last year by EastEnders actor Rose Ayling-Ellis.

He added: “The lure of the sequins and the call of the salsa has me swapping my battered old football boots for Strictly soft shoes. I can’t wait to meet my partner. God help her."

Read more: Matt Goss confesses he's terrified ahead of Strictly Come Dancing

Adams will join an array of famous faces on Strictly, with Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton positioned as an early bookies' favourite to win.

Other stars taking to the ballroom include Bros singer Matt Goss, Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds, Corrie actor Kym Marsh and X Factor alum Fleur East.

Strictly Come Dancing is set to launch on BBC One on 17 September, so fans don't have long to wait for its return.

Watch: Ellie Simmonds reveals her Strictly Come Dancing excitement