Cousins who worked as physios for Arsenal and England open up as they settle into a new venture with backing from players including Özil

Gary Lewin is looking back at a balancing act of risk and reward that, in no small way, helped Arsenal to their greatest night of all. “Micky Thomas, 1989,” he says. “He’d come off injured against Wimbledon and had a fitness test the day before we went to Anfield. I remember telling George Graham: ‘He’s fit to start but I can’t guarantee he’ll finish; if he gets one block tackle on that ligament he’ll be in trouble.’ What do I know, he scores the winner in the 92nd minute. At the time you don’t really take it in, but later on you sit back and think: ‘Wow, what a difference that makes.’”

Now Lewin is sitting alongside his cousin, Colin, in the smart surrounds of the clinic they have run since October in east London. They are the most recognisable physios in English football, primarily through the combined four decades spent at Arsenal but also through Gary’s spells with England and West Ham, and it has taken some adjustment to depart the weekly cut and thrust that became a way of life.

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