The Arsenal legend’s energetic performances, which have been a highlight of the show to many (and a source of indignation to others), have sadly come to an end after he exited the competition on Sunday.
Announcing the premature finale to his dancing career, BBC host Tess Daly told viewers: “Due to an injury sustained on Saturday night, Tony is unable to take part in the dance-off and has decided to withdraw from the competition.”
The former England captain posted an emotional tweet in the wake of his departure, hailing his eight weeks on the programme as “unbelievable joyful, tough and exhilirating“. But, he said: There comes a point when you can no longer ignore medical advice, and very sadly my point came tonight.”
In a heartwarming shout-out to his dancing partner Katya Jones, he then added: "I have no words [...] She is my absolute rock, queen, nemesis, HERO. I love her to bits. Keep dancing."
He ended by suggesting that you can take the man out of Strictly but you can't take the Strictly out the man, writing: "Tomorrow I’ll be getting the leaf blower out and back to normality. With sequins."
The news saw Adams, 56, flooded with messages of support and admiration. Here’s a look at some of the top tributes he received, starting with a moving thread from Jones and a look at some of the pair’s highlights:
\u201cYou inspired them, you entertained them, you gave them hope and without a doubt - saved lives . You can walk away and proudly say that your mission is complete!\u201d
\u201cFrom the Full Monty to their Halloween Quickstep, Tony and Katya have been a legendary #Strictly partnership that we'll never forget \ud83d\udc4f\n\n@TonyAdams @Mrs_katjones\u201d
— BBC Strictly \u2728 (@BBC Strictly \u2728)
\u201cSorry that @TonyAdams had to retire, we could see the discomfort he was in. Being a lifelong gooner it was great to watch him take on the challenge and as always gave 100%. Brilliant stuff skip \ud83d\udc4f\ud83d\udc4f\ud83d\udc4f As for @Mrs_katjones Genius, brilliant \u2764\ufe0f\u201d
— SCD Band \ud83d\udc99 (@SCD Band \ud83d\udc99)
\u201cWhat an absolute star @TonyAdams has been. Week 1 nerves all the way to week 8 and he kept us laughing and cheering all the way \ud83d\udc4f\ud83c\udffb\ud83d\udc4f\ud83c\udffb\ud83d\udc4f\ud83c\udffb\n\n@Mrs_katjones is a genius and it has lovely to see her turn the old warhorse into a dancer #Strictly \nhttps://t.co/BedVepu2uV\u201d
\u201cTony, you\u2019re an absolute legend. You were there for me throughout my Strictly journey, as you have been for everyone. You have an incredible aura about you, which puts everyone at ease and makes you feel everything is going to be ok. We all love you so so much \ud83d\udc99\u201d
\u201c@TonyAdams you are our Champion, on the dance floor and as our awesome Patron. Supporting us as we work with vulnerable children, changing lives and enabling every child we work with to reach their full potential.\nSorry it has come to an end, you were amazing!\n#champion #Patron\u201d
— School-Home Support (@School-Home Support)
\u201cWell done @TonyAdams ....\n\nProud of you as always.\u201d
— \ud83c\udf97\\\ SHE WORE \\\ (@\ud83c\udf97\\\ SHE WORE \\\)
\u201cAm not a football fan but have a totally new found respect for the livin' legend that is @TonyAdams Thank you for being so open and honest during your time on @bbcstrictly #Strictly You might not have won the 2022 glitterball but you have a Lifetime Achievement Award from so many\u201d
\u201cAnyone who had the privilege of seeing Tony play for @Arsenal will know what the man is made of. He bowed out from his beloved team gracefully, he not only tackled his demons but used them to help others. He\u2019s a legend @TonyAdams @bbcstrictly\u201d
\u201cProud of @TonyAdams He wanted to raise awareness for MH struggles and his charity work. He danced live on TV every week just so he could to do that, despite the unnecessarily mean comments. #Strictly\u201d
Adams is known not only for his footballing achievements but for conquering alcohol and drug addiction, and for founding Sporting Chance, a charity which helps sportspeople with mental health and addiction issues.
Ahead of the new Strictly series launch in September, the 56-year-old recalled how coming close to death spurred him on to switch studded boots for dancing shoes.
He said: “I’ve been asked a few times. I had a mental breakdown when I was 49 and working too hard in China and I’ve just got time now.
“I’m not working too much, my calendar’s pretty empty for the next three months so I just thought yeah, go for it.
“After my heart procedure – I nearly died when I was 49 – my main artery was 99 per cent closed and the stress of life.
“I’m a bit of a born worrier, my mum was a worrier so I just decided to take things a bit easier and get myself on a silly show.”
All we can say is, that "silly show" will miss you, Skipper.
Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.