Photographing Arsenal's supporters in Uganda

I've known Ashwin Bhardwaj since we were born. Amazingly, despite being best mates for over 32 years he's somehow remained impervious to my unrelenting love of football. Seriously, he knows naff all about the sport. Perhaps he just saw how bloody miserable Arsenal made me at the weekends and decided, "Nah, not for me." 

It was therefore with great surprise that on Ash's return from a recent assignment in Uganda, where he'd joined up with explorer Levison Wood for a three week stint of a nine month quest to walk the River Nile, he wouldn't stop banging on about Arsenal and their presence in the country. 

He even had the photos to prove it. And quite frankly, they're amazing. From real kits to exuberant knock offs and even a makeshift pub named 'Highbury', he's manage to capture some stunning shots of Ugandans displaying their love for Arsenal. 

You can check out a gallery of his pictures here. 

With 'Walking the Nile' now a fully-fledged documentary - airing in the primetime 9pm Sunday slot on Channel 4 - it felt like the perfect moment to ask Ash a bit more about his experience. 


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We’re On Our Way


BY Andrew Allen / @AAllenSport


“We can be proud...we can be so proud.”
Thierry Henry, 17 May 2006, Paris. 

In the 24 years that I’ve been watching Arsenal, I have come to realise that there is no uniformity in the way one deals with defeat. There have been results that have left me fuming with anger and frustration, beatings which have moistened the eyes, setbacks met with casual shoulder shrugs and losses confronted with gallows humour. There have even been failures, akin to fruitless romantic conquests, which despite being put to the back of the mind continue to this day to wriggle from the depths to stir unexpected and heartfelt groans. 

Defeat to Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League Final, however, stands alone. Perhaps it was the romantic Parisian setting, or maybe a hangover from the sentimental farewell to Highbury just days before, but where pain should have pulsed through my veins in the aftermath of Juliano Belletti’s winner, there was instead pride and an unadulterated sense of belonging.

Yes, Arsenal had fallen at the final hurdle, but the manner in which the race had been run up to that point was nothing short of heroic. Deliciously dynamic, nail-bitingly ugly, robust, exhilarating and so often gut-wrenching; the twelve games on the road to the Stade de France had come in all shapes and sizes and seen minnows and giants banished alike.


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Gilberto Silva – The Invisible Wall who became Invincible


In an informal interview conducted seven years ago with his own unofficial fan site, Gilberto Silva was asked what advice he’d pass on to his younger self should the chance hypothetically present itself. Before answering he can be seen pausing for thought before quietly asserting in his delightfully lilting English, “Believe.”

The simplicity of his statement can’t help but make you smile. After all, this is a guy whose path to the top was not so much the stuff of dreams, but a fairy-tale so far-fetched that even the Brothers Grimm might have raised an eyebrow.

Belief? Surely it takes more than that?

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"Arsenal" Win The Cup


We found the above newspaper cutting loose within my Granddad's World War II scrap book. It references a letter written by my Great Uncle about a football cup and league that his Kommando had organised within a prisoner of war camp. A team representing Arsenal were reported as being the victors.

My Granddad was the younger brother mentioned in the very last sentence. Both him and his brother thankfully returned safely from World War II, despite my Great Uncle being a part of the 'The Long March' from Poland to Germany.

I felt that this little story was too interesting to be shared only within the family, so I hope you find the read as interesting as we do.

(Editor's note - If anybody has further information on the above report, including the name of the publication in which it was first printed, please get in touch by emailing Thanks.)


The Greatest Day Of My Life

BY ADITHYA V / @PositiveGunner

It has been over 6 months since that glorious day and I can’t help but put this down into words...


A young man in his twenties, I am today
The end of this lifetime, quite far away
But in all these years, I truly must say
The 26th of February, was my greatest day

Achieve something great? I didn’t really
An important global event? In a way surely
But a major life moment? Oh quite clearly
And a memory to cherish? oh so very dearly

To do with football, this memory is you see
My good old Arsenal, with its proud history
Faced with arch rivals, a victory causing glee
But not the only reason, ’twas special for me

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