Do you remember going to your first Arsenal match or watching your Arsenal game on TV?
Why not reminicise here and tell your story of how you fell in love and became a Gooner?
Mine was a cold February evening in 1988. We were to play Everton in the Semi Final of the Littlewoods Cup (or Carling Cup).
I'd always wanted to go to this fabled stadium, Highbury, where my older cousin Johnny and his mates Pete and Dean used to go. I wanted to see the Clock. I wanted to be on the North bank.
Caulfield in my year at school was a junior gunner, as were the Doherty brothers (both younger than me). But, my parents weren't having any of it. They said it was full of hooligans and they didn't want to visit their kids in hospital.
Such was the hardship of a kid growing up in an Afrcian household...
My chance came when my dad was on holiday in Nigeria and my mum was working night shifts at Mount Pleasant.
We were staying at my cousins' house in Balham and Johnny being the rebel that he was always was going up North London to watch the gunners.
I'd asked him before to try and take me when we stayed at their house but, for one reason or another he just didn't bother.
But my luck was soon to change. Pete managed to get some tickets and I begged and begged my cuz to take me. His younger brother wasn't into footy that much so he finally relented.
Can't remember the route up there but we got off at Finsbury Park, I remember cos we couldn't interchange somewhere else due to the sheer number of peeps (probably Kings X).
We marched down the Blackstock Rd and turned onto Gillespie.
The tingle of anticipation ran through me as I savoured the buzz of the fans mingling. I remember sticking close to my cuz as my as the nightmare storeis from my folks were still fresh in my memory. But i was there! And we were all feeling confident having beat ManUre in the FA Cup.
I bought The Gunner (remember that?!) for about 60p. Dunno how much they are now but I'm sure you can't get it for 60p!!!
We entered through the turnstile at Gillespie Rd and entered the West Stand. That's when it hit me. I can only describe it as seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. As soon as I entered the stand all i could see was the shining floodlights and the noise of the support! The heat rising into the night sky.
It was electric!
Down at the far End I saw the Clock and knew instantly what it was. I now knew my bearings and looked at the Northbank. There is was over to my left.
Don't actually remember that much of the game. I know we were up against a very very good Everton team cos they were league champs, but we were cup holders. Rocky missed a chance in the first half and Martin hayes missed a pen. Adrian Heath scored for them down our end.
All our goals were score up the Clock End I think.
Johnny told me later that it was too risky to have me there on my first match. He was right. The surge- nae stampede at the final whistle was like something on the Sarengeti!
Johnny and the boys ran down, I ran to bottom of the stand and stopped. My parents had trained me well. I wasn't about to test Pc Plod!
So that was it. I'd actually witnessed my heroes in the flesh. Rocky, Mickey Thomas, TA, Kenny Sansom. I went home that night, programme in my jacket, buzzing!
Couldn't wait to get to school to show off to Caulfield and Co that I'd also been to The Arsenal. I was part of that exclusive club. I was hooked. I craved the drug.
Though it would be another year or so until I could feed the habit again.