The Arsenal and Me – Mark’s Story

How I became an arsenal fan…

There was no choice on who I supported in my family. Both my parents are Arsenal fans, I was brought up in Islington, and could walk to the ground from my house. Same for both my parents. My dads parents weren’t into football too much, in fact if they supported anyone, it was the scum. My dad had more sense though, and became an Arsenal fan due to where he lived (and just to be awkward and follow a different team to his family). My mums family are all Arsenal. Just so you know how ‘Arsenal’ they are, my granddad was a close cousin of a certain Charlie George……

My First Game…

What a first game for me to go to. 18th April 1998, I just turned 8. My dad struggled getting tickets to take me to games, I was bugging him for ages to take me. He managed to get two season tickets off his mate, who couldn’t make that game. I was in the upper tier of the North Bank. It was quite surreal going into the stand, obviously hadn’t ever experienced anything like that before, being in such a big place with 38,000 people. The game was against Wimbledon, we won 5-0. Petit scored his first goal for The Arsenal I think, and my favourite player at the time (I was 8!!) Wreh scored.

I’d like to add the only reason why I liked him was because of his goal celebrations. Looking back at stats now (on http://www.stats.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/aftlu.htm (Great Website!), Wreh had scored a few in games leading up to that Wimbledon game, so maybe that’s why I liked him too, and obviously knew of his celebrations! At the end of the game, we waited back to see the other scores on the screens, I think united had drawn 1-1 with whoever they were playing, and I do believe this meant Arsenal then went top of the league.

The Arsenal and me now…

Now I am a season ticket holder, east stand lower. This is my fifth year with a season ticket. I don’t miss a home game, unless I really have to. I try to do a fair few away games. Haven’t done any this season yet, but will be going Palace, Dortmund and Cardiff within next couple of months. There’s things I am not happy about over The Arsenal, lack of investment in squad, ticket prices, The Arsenal making money out of fans at every opportunity, etc. However, it is an addiction. I love going over there. I’ve met a lot of great people over The Arsenal, some very good friends of mine now. I watch some away games that I can’t go to for whatever reason, and always gutted I’m not there.

There’s something about football that non football fans don’t understand. Scoring a last minute winner or beating the scum for example, I’m smiling for a week after. Same for the other way round, if we lose in the last minute, or the scum beat us, I don’t talk to anyone. I’ve got colleagues who don’t understand it, say ‘its just a game, how can it affect you so much’. It’s not just a game though is it.

Mark

If you would like to tell your Arsenal story, click here

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One thought on “The Arsenal and Me – Mark’s Story

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