Arsenal Fan blog: Part 2- bloke edition.

June 30, 2010 2 Comments by Sian

This is the last in the very short series, but by no means least! Thanks to everyone who contributed: may your year be full of great hair days, finding money down the back of the sofa and finding two yolks in your morning fried eggs!

~ ~ ~

“I was born in Archway to a mum who couldn’t care less about football and a dad who really could. Growing up in Ireland, he and his friends each chose an English team to support when they were young. Naturally(!), he picked Arsenal. Years and years later he’d end up living in Highbury (coincidence? I think not. Think ‘Fever Pitch’), which is when I arrived and began my life as an Arsenal fan. It wasn’t a choice I made. It was just as natural as learning to speak. There was no decision to be made, it was out of my hands from the offset.

Brilliant.

I went to primary school at St. John’s on Conewood Street, which boasts the incredible art deco face of Highbury stadium at one end and the Arsenal Fish Bar at the other. During my time here I’d be lucky enough to sometimes see players heading up to the chip shop for their lunch. A grinning and waving Ian Wright passing by with Tony Adams remains a vivid memory, as does one heroic occasion on which I yelled “Smudger!!!” at Alan Smith as he walked past. Rather unsure as to what I had just shouted, I suddenly anticipated the same reaction to that if I had called him an idiot (which I had). Thankfully he turned around and waved to me.

It was this personal connection that helped me become close to the club, not to mention the time George Graham took the players for a jog and quick kick-about on the concrete pitch of my estate during a quiet Tuesday afternoon on my estate.

One of my most vivid memories of being at any game growing up was at the FA Cup Final replay against Sheffield Wednesday in 1993. I was only nine years old at the time but I’d been standing in the North bank since I was about five or six, so knew was already a seasoned fan. I remember a few key moments from that night: the first came just before the game when a man, about five rows in front of us at Wembley, suddenly got up, turned around and shouted “we can do this! WE ARE GONNA BLOODY DO IT!” He was one of those blokes who I expect to become down the line, the kind of man you see at many games. But this was my first encounter of this blend of passion and alcohol being unleashed in the form of a battle cry.

Of course, that night ended deep into extra time when Andy Linighan rose above everyone else to hammer in a beautiful header from Paul Merson’s inviting corner, which I remember sending the place into pandemonium around me. Amazing. Then, as we were sitting so high up, myself, my dad and my brothers had to really bend down to see Tony Adams lifting the cup as the shelter above us blocked the view across the other side of the stadium.

It’s the little things I’ve remembered that make supporting this club so special to me over the years.

Another example would be my all time favourite player, Dennis Bergkamp, scoring the third goal in a three-one win of Spurs in 1996. It was a rainy November night and I still have stamped on my brain the moment he brought the ball under control, while simultaneously taking who I think was Stephen Carr out of the equation before slamming the ball across goal past Ian Walker. Dennis then slid on his knees in very un-Bergkamp fashion in front of where our season tickets were in the family enclosure of Highbury’s West Stand lower-tier. The two muddy lines from the slide remained and I stared at them after the final whistle, thinking how amazing it all was; an emotional night.

I could go on and on for pages and pages about other situations at others matches during other seasons and involving other players, but I think you get the idea when I mention that when Mad Jens Lehmann saved that last minute penalty against Villareal in the Champions League semi-final of 2006, I ended up jumping around the Gunners pub hugging a man who I had stood in front of but not noticed for the previous ninety minutes of the match. You can’t help these things.

I have my dad to thank for all of these good times and it seems absolutely fitting that just a couple of nights ago, after I had a meal round at my parents’ place, my dad walked me home to Aubert Park (the bottom of the hill, just in front of the Emirates), where I now live. As we were saying goodbye, a black cab pulled up and the driver shouted out to us, “you’re not lost are you lads? That’s the great Arsenal just there”, while pointing at the stadium. “Yeah, we know that”, was our joint reaction. And we do and always will do, as will my kids somewhere down the line, whether they like it or not.” (DANIEL, LONDON)

~ ~ ~

“I started supporting Arsenal in 1992 but was never so deep into them until Dennis Bergkamp joined from Inter Milan. I’ve always been a huge fan of his ever since he was in Ajax as I always loved the Dutch style of football and their style of play.
 
I’ve got a many Arsenal games that stand out in my memory but these are the few which still are fresh in my memory.
 
First favourite Arsenal game was again Manchester United (May 2002) where we won 1-0 to claim the title.
 
Second favourite Arsenal game was at Stamford Bridge where we was 2-0 down and Kanu came on to score a hat trick with the final score been 2-3, I gave up on the game after it was 2-0 but when Kanu came on the game came alight and would forever stay in my memory.(1999)
 
Third favourite Arsenal game was against Real Madrid, no one gave us any chance of getting anything away at “Santiago Bernabeu” during the Champions League Quarter finals but we came through strong and classy as “Henry” scored a spectacular solo goal to show how good we was.
 
Experiencing been an Arsenal fan has its ups and downs, when we lose a game, it changes my moods for a while and I always try cheer myself up by watching old Arsenal games I’ve recorded or on the Arsenal site.
 
When we do win games I do feel on top of the world and it stays with me for as long as it can.
 
People always say things about Arsenal not winning a silverwear for 5 years, I don’t get so bothered about it, as I feel like every club have their moment in which they come out on top, its like a circle “just like the earth rotates” our time would come its not a matter of when we win something but a matter of been patient and we would achieve it with style.
 
I never miss an Arsenal game I always create so much time to watch Arsenal, I put Arsenal first before most things I do, on a regular day & during the season, I always check for Arsenal updates both on the players and other new, its a part of my life I do everyday and would not change been an Arsenal supporter.” (UGO, MANCHESTER/LONDON)

~ ~ ~

“I was in my cousin’s house one day, and they were watching a game, I think it was Arsenal – Everton in 2002,  I sat down and watched with them and I saw the great passing and the skill the Arsenal players had and I have loved watching them since.” (CONOR, IRELAND)

~ ~ ~

“I became an Arsenal fan because of my Dad… My Dad and Grandad both support/supported the Gunners, so when I was born in Bradford, there was only one choice of club for me…
 
I’ve supported them every day, was a member of the Junior Gunners, and even mascoted for them away at QPR in the 89/90 season. The over-riding memories from that experience are getting a photo with George Graham smiling broadly (which rarely seemed to happen), having Lee Dixon take me and the other mascot over to the away supporters and try to convince us to shake our arses at the crowd (I chickened out, which I regret). The biggest thing was meeting Rocky. While everyone was polite and happy to say hi, they were obviously in pre-game focus mode, but Rocky spent ten minutes just chatting with me about having come down from Bradford to be a mascot. He was a true hero, and showed to me what Arsenal can be all about.” (SIMON HART, BRADFORD)

~ ~ ~

“I dont remember when I became a gooner, i.e, the exact date or something. But I know I became one sometime in ‘97 when I first saw Bergkamp weave his magic on for the Gunners! I was 13 then and watching EPL in India wasnt all that easy back then. But that moment I would never forget. It wasnt some goal which i saw. All i saw was an amazing pass from him to someone and then the first touch on the return pass he got. I used to play footie back then and i was amazed that one could pass between 3 or 4 players!

I know for a fact that Dennis Nicolaas Bergkamp will be my most favorite Football as well as Arsenal player forever! And thanks Siany for making me remember that moment and rant about it boring all (edited to add: not boring at all).” (YOGESH, TEXAS)

You, Yogesh, are welcome!

Thanks guys, the scary rollercoaster ride with all the extra dips and loops and not-very-safe seatbelts that is Arsenal will commence very, very shortly and hopefully this blog shall continue throughout. What we will discuss next summer? My belief is that it’ll be which trophy we think looks prettiest in our cabinet.

2 Comments

  1. das
    2541 days ago

    Yo, Siany…….another good blog (oh the memories).
    Flying outta SFO later today – back in Blighty tomorow.

    Hasta…..

    Reply

    • sianyr
      2540 days ago

      @Das Have a safe trip!

      Reply

Post a Comment

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *