Aaron Ramsdale was officially unveiled as an Arsenal player on Friday after months of being linked with a move to the Gunners, and he brought along a surprising item with him
Aaron Ramsdale has explained the truly touching story behind why he brought grandad’s ashes to his Arsenal unveiling.
Ramsdale was officially announced as the newest member of Mikel Arteta’s side on Friday after a lengthy transfer saga.
The Englishman arrived at the Emirates Stadium in a £30m deal from Sheffield United.
And as well as his family, he brought along a small pouch, which he explained contained some of the ashes of his late grandfather, Ron, which he says have been all around the country.
“The day my mum found out she was pregnant with me was the day he died,” Ramsdale said.
“He was called Ron and was from Bloxwich in Birmingham and they used to say ‘oh, we’re going to see our Ron’. So I’m Aaron for ‘our Ron’. When his ashes were spread my dad kept some of his ashes.
“He’s gone on a little tour of the 92 [teams in the Football League]! My dad brings him all to the games and will have a picture with him in the stadiums.
“I did say in the car this morning that he wasn’t coming out but it was a nice touch… he would have been a footballer if his dad had allowed him and he was a goalkeeper so there are little connections between us both.
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“My dad takes him everywhere. It keeps him close to his heart.”
Ramsdale has been linked with a move to the Gunners all summer, with the future of Bernd Leno initially unclear, while Alex Runarsson underwhelmed in his debut season.
And the 23-year-old admitted that it was difficult to keep his focus at times, knowing a potential move to Arsenal was on the cards.
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“It’s been difficult,” he added. “It’s never easy when you are trying to focus on playing your football with speculation in the background, it’s difficult. Now, I am here and everything is sorted.
“It’s been a long few days, but it’s finally over the line and now I can get onto the training pitch and crack on and hopefully do what I do best.”
When asked when he first heard about Arsenal’s interest, he went on: “It’s been a while, to be honest.
“There was speculation throughout the Euros and just sort of whispers and things so didn’t think too much of it.
“It gathered pace towards the Championship season, I played the first two games and over time, it just grew bigger and bigger.
“Thankfully, the two clubs reached an agreement to bring me here and as I said before, I am absolutely delighted.”