I am a glory hunter.
There I said it. At the tender age of 8 years old, with no football team to support & no father figure to follow, I remember the older boys on the estate talking about a game that was going to be played on a Friday night. For the week leading up to the game, the older lads played it out the on the estate. I was put on the Arsenal side to make up numbers. Friday night came.
May 26th 1989. I felt as if I had been playing and representing my mates and Arsenal on the estate so I wanted to watch it. There was a problem, my mum not a football fan, was not interested. That early evening I went to bed early climbed out my window and watched at my friends. That game, them moments of sheer excitement got me hooked. That was me I was an Arsenal fan.
As I grew older and my passion for the game grew, my knowledge got better, Arsenal signed a player called Ian Wright, something about that man that made me want to be him. I loved his style his passion everything about him. I was the white kid on the estate that would score a goal and “bogel” like he used to. I practised the one step penalty, I admired his ability, I was hooked on Arsenal. It was my drug.
Still at 10/11 years old I had not been to a game. I knew my mum would never take me and she wouldn’t let me travel to Highbury with the older lads as I was to young. not being allowed to do something got me itching to go more & more.
Aged 14 a few weeks before my 15th birthday, I though ‘Sod it, I’m’ going. Arsenal were hosting Norwich. HIGHBURY was my destination with £10 on me and no ticket, I took my chance. I can’t remember how much I paid to get in and I can’t really remember the game. I just remember winning and seeing it 1st hand what a feeling it was to see The Arsenal. that day we won 5-1.
From this day on, my aim was to play football & go to The Arsenal. I have been lucky enough to see us lift Premier League titles and FA Cups. I have also had the disappointment of watching us lose in finals … Liverpool, Birmingham, Chelsea. My love for the club still grows. I still get the same buzz now as I did when I was pubescent 14 year old lad.
There is something about going Arsenal that made me feel like I had the family I didn’t at home. Now I am a dad of 3 boys. I do it all different already; my boys come football with me and recently went on their first away day. Arsenal is now well and truly in my family and will live on for generations to come just how I want it to be . UP THE ARSENAL