Keir Starmer supports Arsenal and 'played role' in £105m Declan Rice transfer

Keir Starmer is a huge football fan and supports Premier League side Arsenal (Image: Getty)

Keir Starmer claimed to have played a role in Arsenal’s £105million purchase of Declan Rice from West Ham last summer. The Labour Party leader and his son were introduced to the England midfielder while he still played for the Hammers.

Starmer has talked frequently about his support for Arsenal. The 61-year-old has had a season ticket in the same seats at the Emirates Stadium since the venue opened in 2006.

Arsenal drew 2-2 at West Ham in April 2023 and Starmer was in attendance at the London Stadium alongside his son. He was led down to meet soon-to-be Arsenal star Rice and cheekily wrote a Gunners contract for the player to sign.

“When we played away at West Ham last year and Declan was still a West Ham player I took my son,” Starmer said in an interview with the Telegraph.

“Mark Noble, Mr West Ham, took us down to meet Declan. And so my boy had his programme open ready for signing and obviously we put the contract [for Arsenal] in underneath. Declan signed it and thought he was signing the programme, but actually he was signing for Arsenal!”

Rice joined Arsenal that summer in a £105m deal, making him the most expensive English player of all-time. He is currently playing for England at Euro 2024, and will start against Switzerland in the quarter-final on Saturday.

Starmer insists that he will continue attending Arsenal matches despite the pressure of his job.

He continued: “Because of the intense love I have got of football, which I have always had. But also the busier I have got and the more intense the day job the more I enjoy the release. Whether it’s playing football, and I still play, or watching football, it takes you completely away from the day job.

Declan Rice joined Arsenal in a £105m after signing a mocked contract for Keir Starmer (Image: Getty)

“I go with one of my very best friends, who I know from school, his son and my son. And this sounds very, well, almost emotional for me. But for me and my very close friend to walk down the road to the Emirates with our two sons in front of us is a really incredible feeling and I love that.”

Exit polls on Thursday evening showed Starmer’s Labour as the largest party. He is expected to be called to form a government by King Charles III.

Labour’s manifesto for the election committed to establishing an independent regulator for football.