I have lots of memories: the good ,the bad ,the ugly and the downright scary from my 40 years of following Arsenal! There is just too much to cram into one blog, so I will recall the 70s and the start of the 80s, my formative years at Arsenal!
For those of today’s generation,eight years and all that without a trophy, well that was “de rigour” in the 70s. I was a junior schoolboy in 71 and older brothers plonked me down at the front of the north bank in the double winning run. I remember the 1-0 wins at home to the Geordie’s and the last home game 1-0 against Stoke! I watched the FA Cup Final around an affluent family friends house who had colour TV.We were still radio rentalliing a black and white when we won our next trophy in 79! Yes an eight year gap!
I was free of older brothers guardianship and could head down on my own in the mid 70s. The team had gone downhill,a double team broken up far too soon! But,I had the misfortune of going to games,a bare teen, a quiet one in a maelstrom of an era of football violence.
Excited to see Arsenal in a FA Cup QF at home against West Ham in 1975 I entered the North Bank on a day of horrendous rain to hear “Bubbles” from the back of the North Bank,as West Ham took over that day!I was at angry at what happened off the pitch as the losing 2-0 on the pitch.
Next season, we beat West Ham 6-1, but that day was equally naughty! And as for Tottenham Hotspur…things weren’t much better. I still have a mental picture of a typical y** as being much older ,wearing a donkey jacket and a peak cap! We were bad on the pitch, but they were worse and we saw them relegated in 76!!
By 77/78,things were stirring at Highbury. The team were improving ,the mercurial Liam Brady was emerging as a world class player,O’Leary at the back and the signing of Pat Jennings, the Tottenham keeper, proved a cute bit of business!
We had a team to have a go in the Cups. Off the pitch things were also stirring. A young generation, ages 14-16 emerged in the Clockend, a kind of football intifada was emerging. The lads had enough of getting bullied by older Chas and Daves and Garnets! The young ones would cut their in the mayhem of 70s away games. I went to Ipswich, Norwich and Bristol City that season. I was a quiet bystander in mayhem at every turn,
In 78,we reached a league cup semi over two legs against Liverpool.Liverpool were in their pomp. Dalglish at his peak as a player. My oldest brother took me to the first leg at Anfield.
To be continued…