The Arsenal and Me – Dan’s Story

So… Where to begin, all the family are Arsenal, Mum was born in Elwood Street, I grew up in Borehamwood. 1983 (I think), my first game at home to Luton. It pissed down so we stood under the North Bank as opposed to the schoolboys in front of the West Stand. We lost. Our Morris Marina then broke down, leaving us double parked in Drayton Park waiting for the AA for hours.

When we finally got home, I thought “that’s for me”. Despite the trial and tribulations and the defeat, I loved it. A few bad years followed going to the odd game then in 86, me and dad went to Highbury during the school holidays and as a surprise he bought us season tickets mine was £39 quid standing in the junior gunners. £39 for a season ticket!Tickets

In 1987, we made a Cup Final. A ticket for the final cost just £6.

What a day Wembley my 1st visit was, and a win (Liverpool never lose when rush scores 1st). I remember the flags the Scousers were carrying on Wembley Way. I was 11 and it was mind blowing.

The following year was back to reality as we lost to Luton!

1989, What a year. May 26th will live with me forever, more so for the way The Arsenal gave flowers to the Anfield crowd before kick off. I was ball boy at Highbury (we played either Newcastle or Everton) the day of the Hillsborough disaster and I watched it live in the players lounge at half time. I wasnt sure what to make of it at that age

When we won the league that Friday, the whole family went up to Highbury dad let me have a beer, the streets were going mad.

Onto my first European excursion, and what an introduction to watching an English team abroad, it was lively to say the least. 1-0 to the Arsenal was born at half time and by now I was going with my pals and getting into a few scrapes here and there but this was on another level.

And so to Copenhagen 1994. What a night. I cried like a baby when we won! The whole day in Copenhagen was magical, being there with your close pals, a 1-0 win when we should have lost by 4….

Lens away, another great night. To say I was there even though it took hours to get in as loads of Gooners tried to blag it. We all know what happened here, the result didn’t matter at the end of the day, I’m still not sure if it was a good day out or a bad day out.

I’ve met loads of great people over Highbury during the years, people who i could rely on when needed, and this was a day we all came together. The next few years me and the old man spent in the East Lower, doubles were won, unreal football was played….I was there at Old Trafford when Wiltord scored and, at the Lane when we won the league.

I have so many great memories and some shitty ones too. Chelsea in the Champions league when Wayne Bridge scored being one of the worst. I physically felt sick after that game. And then onto Paris 2006.

A great trip with some pals and meeting up at the Frog and Rosbeef for one of the biggest sessions ever, the only memory is before the game outside the ground dancing to take me out by Franz Ferdinand!!!

I went to Aston Villa, the 1st game at the Emirates still as a ST holder but it wasn’t for me, it’s soulless and it didn’t mean anything to lots of people around me. My Season tickets are now being used by a pal. I still get up there to the big games and took the missus v Spurs this season, hopefully the prices will come down and I can take my daughter when she’s old enough.

The Arsenals in the blood it hurts when they lose, it hurts when people slag us off. Although I like us being the underdogs ala 89 ….

Remember we are not Arsenal we are “The Arsenal”. Stay safe….

Dan

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

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