Rice, 64, made 528 appearances for Arsenal between 1966 and 1980, and was assistant manager to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger for 16 years before retiring in 2012.
The Northern Irishman is one of only 3 Arsenal players to have played in five FA Cup Finals (the others were David Seaman and Ray Parlour). A former Arsenal club Captain, Rice was also a member of the famous 1970/71 double-winning side.
Under Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, Rice played a key role in helping the club to success in the 1990s and 2000s, including coaching the double-winning sides of 1997–98 and 2001–02.
On his retirement from coaching in May last year, Wenger said: 'Pat is a true Arsenal legend and has committed almost his whole life to Arsenal Football Club, which shows huge loyalty and devotion to this club.
'When I first arrived at Arsenal, Pat was always there and taught me so much about this great club. I will always be indebted to him for his expert insight into Arsenal and football as a whole'.
Arsenal said in a statement today: 'We can sadly confirm Pat Rice is in hospital receiving treatment for cancer. Everyone at Arsenal Football Club sends him our best wishes. Our thoughts are with Pat and his family'.
image: © michael hilton