Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger agreed to put Sol Campbell firmly in the firing line for abuse from Tottenham fans ahead of the north London derby.

The incident occurred as Campbell returned to White Hart Lane to face his former side for the first time, as recounted by former Gunners teammate Ray Parlour.

Then a highly-rated England centre-back, Campbell left Spurs to join their bitter local rivals in 2001 on a free transfer which rocked the Premier League.

He started Arsenal's trip to Tottenham in November that year and faced a barrage of insults and curses from a home crowd who branded him 'Judas'.

Sol Campbell was met with a severely-hostile reception on his return to Tottenham (

Image:

Getty)

Parlour was also in the starting line-up that day and described the 1-1 draw as the "fiercest" match he played in throughout his decorated career.

The former midfielder told talkSPORT : "The fiercest game I’ve ever been in was Sol Campbell’s first game back at White Hart Lane – Woah!

"I’ll always remember coming out [of the stadium], we got pelters, we got all sorts of things thrown at our coach.

"When you come out of Tottenham you’ve got to do a hard left at a T-junction, and the police were on our coach telling us not to stop, just keep going as quick as you can, and it was dangerous.

"We went round this corner so quickly all the plates came out the cupboards – smash!

"We thought the window had gone in! That was probably the scariest and most intimidating game I’ve been involved in."

Although the atmosphere was incredibly hostile before the match, Wenger agreed to make light of the situation by putting Campbell in the spotlight.

"I shouted down the coach: 'Boss, I’ve got an idea'," Parlour added. "Arsene Wenger stood up and said: 'What is it?'

"I said: 'Boss, why don’t we just put a sign on the window saying, Sol sits here, at least then they’ll get the right window!'

"And I’ll always remember the boss’ reply: 'Yes, that’s a good idea, we do that.' Sol was just looking at me with a smirk on his face."

Campbell looked on course to have the last laugh over Spurs fans as Robert Pires gave Arsenal the lead in the 81st minute.

But Gus Poyet hauled the hosts level deep into added time to seal a point for Tottenham in the north London derby.

Campbell would go on to win the Premier League that season and during the 'Invincibles' 2003/04 campaign, while he also won three FA Cups and reached the Champions League final with Arsenal.

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