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Bertie Mee OBE (25 December 1918 – October 22, 2001) was an English football player and manager, most famous for managing Arsenal to their first Double win in 1971.

Born in Bullwell, Nottinghamshire, Mee played for Derby County as a young man, but his playing career was cut short by injury. Mee joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and trained as a physiotherapist, and spent six years, rising to the rank of sergeant. After leaving, he worked for various football clubs as a physiotherapist, before joining Arsenal in 1960, succeeding Billy Milne.

After the sacking of Billy Wright in 1966, the club asked Mee to become manager, a highly surprising move, perhaps even to the man himself; Mee asked for a get-out clause for him to return to physiotherapist after twelve months if it didn't work out. Mee recruited Dave Sexton and Don Howe as his assistants, in order to make up for any tactical shortcomings of his own.

Arsenal hadn't won a trophy since 1953, but under Mee, with a crop of players from the 1966 FA Youth Cup-winning side, such as Charlie George, John Radford and Ray Kennedy, began to show promise. Arsenal reached two successive League Cup finals in 1968 and 1969, but lost them both to Leeds United and Swindon Town respectively. However, the following season, the club won its first European trophy and its first trophy of any kind for 17 years, beating Anderlecht to claim the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, 4-3 on aggregate; after being 3-0 down in the away leg, Arsenal grabbed a late consolation and then beat the Belgian side 3-0 at Highbury.

The Fairs Cup was only the warmup for the main act, namely the FA Cup and League Double win in 1971. The League title was won at White Hart Lane, home of their deadly rivals Tottenham Hotspur, on the last day of the season; five days later Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley after extra-time, the winning goal scored by Charlie George.

Mee's Arsenal could not build on this success, however, they lost the 1972 Cup final to Leeds and gradually drifted into mid-table obscurity. Mee announced his resignation as Arsenal manager in 1976. He would later join Watford as assistant to Graham Taylor in 1978 in charge of scouting (where he was credited with discovering John Barnes), and later became a director of the Hornets before retiring in 1991.

Mee was made an OBE in 1984 for services to football. He died at the age of 82, in 2001.


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