“It’s life, and every emotion you go through, I have gone through with The Arsenal”
Lived on the Avenell Road it was the first real thing I saw as a kid people horses stadium songs lights, the colours the noise so it was that and my metal tonka truck.
I first fell in trouble loving my club aged 9 and my brother aged 6 in a shared garden on Riversdale road off the Blackstock Road , the neighbours knocked on my mums door and told her to go and listen to your kids and she did, both of us copying the north bank “YOUR GONNA GET YOUR FUCKING HEAD KICKED IN” and “Your’e going home in funny ambulance” and the classic “The manky Tottenham Hotspur went home to the dope and this is FUCK OFF” – we didn’t get the right words till a few year later when Mum had enough and let me make the short journey on my own.
My two kids birth come first, well not quite true. First was the 1987 season and at the shit hole after years of following arsenal was pure ecstasy and 89 was LSD, ecstasy, hash, blow job’s and Samantha Fox’s tits on my face all at the same time. I could not make Anfield, one of the few games I missed in the 80s, but when that goal went in I ran around the pool table in the pub like a headless chicken onto Essex Road and dropped to my knees stopping the traffic.
The passing of Rocky upset me big time. It was like losing a few school pals that passed away. Also losing Denton was extremely upsetting. MR Arsenal. If it was not for him and many others who ran with him, my dad would never have gone into the ground as football back then had many racists and I was the good looking son of a foreigner.
How to conduct yourself? I honestly can say hand on heart I learned more from the North Bank than I did at school or mucking about on the streets. You see the local schools and streets had the same Herbert’s where as the North Bank would have lads from Enfield, Essex, Burnt Oak, Surrey even fucking loyals from Telford. The music, the clothes, the jokes clubs, the girls and even a bit of politics, not much mind. Also travelling the country seeing at first hand the destruction of Liverpool in the early 80s and then the destruction of mining communities, no internet or mobile phones back then so all the learning was done through the eyes and actual experience so thank you Arsenal.
It was Arsenal and it was my job to recruit/encourage as many Gooners to come in to the holy ground from Highbury Grove School. Another memory that I will take to the grave is when we took 50 odd to Brighton and nearly 80 of us met for a home game against West Ham and similar numbers for Liverpool, marching off from Highbury Corner. The jokes the laughs.
Aged 12 or 13 I made enough money to buy a ticket for West Brom away. Train, fare, can of coke and a packet of biscuits. Off I went without telling my parents, came back at 9 at night to massive slap from the old man and banned from going. Yeah right! I did not miss a home game for years after. Like many of us, I was such a sweet boy until arsenal came along.
I could go on and on but it’s everything and still is, my love has let me down big time, changing the badge, fucking about with the kits, pricing out fans and then driving out passionate fans through their Gestapo stewarding. The horrible grassing service,the sit down brigade, and then the killer – moving to the concrete bowl hurt more than I can describe. I joined the BSM in 2009 and through this passionate group, I felt like we have a voice again. I don’t want to hurt the club, but I feel like kicking them in the bollox every now and then “say wake up”. Don’t turn into a day tripper tourist venue or you will break many hearts and in the long term you will regret it.
Like the late 70s and early 80s I’m dreaming and looking forward to Dortmund where an old School turn out will be drinking and singing in praise of the Arsenal. You are my arsenal
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