Arsenal prodigy tipped to star at club is now gardening entrepreneur with superb nickname

Henri Lansbury was highly-rated by Arsene Wenger during his time at Arsenal (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Former Arsenal midfielder Henri Lansbury has made a remarkable switch from the football pitch to the world of lawn care, flourishing in his new venture since retirement. Lansbury, who called time on his career last summer at the age of 32 following a promotion-winning season with Luton Town, has been nurturing a burgeoning business in lawn fertiliser.

His enterprise, Grass Gains, is already making waves in the industry. Lansbury, who played eight times for the Gunners’ first team, found his green-fingered calling during the pandemic lockdown. His products have not only hit the shelves at Homebase but also returned him to familiar turf, treating the grounds he once graced as a youth at Arsenal’s Hale End academy.

Lansbury has also tended to the hallowed grass of Fulham’s Craven Cottage and even ventured internationally to Monaco and Genk. Speaking to talkSPORT, Lansbury shared his ambitions: “We’re going in the right direction, a few local clubs have asked for it and we’ve put it down on their pitches as well.

“I want to give back to the local clubs, I want them to have a nice pitch to play on. There’s nothing better than a kid running on a pitch with stripes on it and that’s what it does, it helps stripe it off.”

After netting his final goal in September 2022, Lansbury celebrated with a quirky lawn mowing gesture, a nod to Luton’s gift of some training ground turf for him to tend. Team-mate Carlton Morris was full of praise, saying: “Honestly, it’s like a bowls pitch. He knows his way around the garden, that’s for sure.”

In 2010, Lansbury, then on loan at Watford, was hailed by Arsene Wenger as a star of the future. “He will be a big player for me,” the Arsenal manager said at the time.

Former Arsenal midfielder Henri Lansbury has launched fertiliser company Grass Gains (Image: Instagram/@thelawnlad)

“He is at the moment having a very interesting experience [at Watford] that we judge to be very successful. He will come back at the end of the season and practice with the first team in the next pre-season. Then we will assess the situation with him together.”

Despite those high hopes, Lansbury moved on from Arsenal to Nottingham Forest in 2012 for £1million after several loan stints, later joining Aston Villa. Having aspired to make his mark with Arsenal, Lansbury now dreams of manicuring the Emirates Stadium pitch.

The 33-year-old, who has embraced the title of lawn artist and is known as ‘The Lawn Lad’ on social media platforms, was recently honoured as the top influencer of 2023 by Turf Business. After encountering problems with toxic fertiliser, he was inspired to launch Grass Gains.

Lansbury has now shared insights into the company’s burgeoning success and the significance of maintaining a pristine garden. He said: “A lot of it has to do with branding. You see the other companies… all plastic boxes, quite dull, quite boring. I’m just trying to lift the gardening world.”

He further emphasised the value of a well-kept lawn, saying: “If you make your grass nice, it’s like another room in the house. You could add £10-15k if your grass is nice. Don’t just chuck all your rubbish into the garden.

“A lot of our complaints are about grass not growing in certain areas. It’s full of bricks, full of plastics. They kill the soil. Our product lifts the soil and helps it regenerate.”

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1909888/henri-lansbury-gardener-arsenal-wenger