An Ode To Pat Rice


To a lifelong Gooner called Pat,
alongside Arsene, 16 years he has sat.
It's a long time to give,
handing out cones and bibs,
and lifting the team when we're flat.

He wore the cannon before he grew stubble,
7 years on lifted a league & cup double.
Five hundred & twenty eight games,
means his name & legend remains,
whilst others have since turned to rubble.

So lets offer our cheers & support,
for the Irishman in glasses & shorts,
we're proud every time we look at you,
the club should build you a statue,
you're a legend & Arsenal stalwart.

Thanks for everything Pat.

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To The Arsenal 

BY ANDY PETERS / @andypeters10

On the 20 September '86
I first witnessed Woodcock, Sansom and Rix
My first game at the Arsenal and what a bore
Home to Oxford, a scoreless draw
And then one afternoon as my dad predicted
2-1 v the Hornets and I was addicted
with goals from Groves and Niall Quinn
I was hooked from the day of my first Arsenal win
Went with my dad, game after game
Saturdays would never be the same
West Upper, Block F seat 58
A tip to the man, carried over the gate

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Gooner Till I Die

BY AMREEN BHUJWALA / @Goonergurl20

There is a feeling of growing discomfort in my heart
something tells me you’re falling apart.
No, no, oh mighty Arsenal, don’t go,
Don’t give up!
For what the future holds, you will never know.
Stand tall, with your head raised high,
and remember the times you made us cry.
Live for those tears, those hopes, those ambitions.
Don’t go down without a fight.
For you are our might Arsenal,
The one and only Arsenal,
and there has never been quite one like you.
Pride, glory and respect to the Arsenal!
We love you!
Gooner for life!

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Michal Papadopulos - The seven minute starlet

BY STEFAN VLIEGER / @StefanVlieger

Highbury, 2nd December 2003, Arsenal versus Wolverhampton Wanderers. Two youngsters celebrate Arsenal's fifth goal in the 88th minute of this League Cup game. One of them, announced by the commentator as 'Fabrice Fabregas', has just scored his first goal for Arsenal and will later become one of the best midfielders in the world. For the other, the Wolves game turns out to be his first and only appearance for Arsenal. He's now under contract at a small club in Russia. His name is Michal Papadopulos.

Born in the Czech Republic town of Ostrava on the 14th of April 1985, Papadopulos made his formative steps as a footballer with local side Banik Ostrava. A promising talent he was scouted by Arsene Wenger’s team in 2003 and offered a loan deal by the Gunners at the age of 18 in July of that year.

His progress in London was rapid. After a few games in the Gunners Reserve team, he was included in Arsenal’s squad for the Carling Cup clash with Wolves in December and made his debut as a substitute replacing match-winner Jeremie Aliadiere. He only entered the field of play with seven minutes left, but within 90 seconds was in the thick of the action. After a Sylvain Wiltord ball flicked past the opposition goalkeeper the goal was left gaping for the young striker. Alas, with 16-year-old Cesc Fabregas in a better position it is the Spaniard who netted thus sealing himself a place in history as the club’s youngest ever goal scorer.

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Arsenal...And Leicester 


During his speech at our wedding, my wife's father worked in my passion for Arsenal and noted that whilst writing his address he had been looking for a link between the Gunners and his home town club Leicester City. As soon as the words left his mouth I blurted out "First game at Highbury". My father-in-law said he had asked one of his brothers about a link earlier in the day and had been pointed in the direction of the 3-3 draw of 1954, whilst his own research on the official Arsenal website had led him to the twelve goal thriller that was the 6-6 draw in 1930.

I knew a bit about players who had represented the Gunners and the Foxes. The legendary Geordie Armstrong left London for Leicester in 1977 for a fee of just £15,000. His falling out with Terry Neill saw him reunited with Frank McLintock who himself had returned to Filbert Street for a single season as manager after nine years at Highbury and a short stint at QPR. The Scot had replaced Jimmy Bloomfield in the Leicester dugout - a man with six years experience wearing the red and white during his playing career. After scoring the winning goal in thr 1970 Fairs Cup Final and helping the Gunners to the First Division title in 1971, John Sammels submitted a transfer request which also saw him make a move to Leicester. His £100,000 deal, fuelled by a frustration that he had become the club's scapegoat, was finalised the week before the club secured the double at Wembley

Amongst others Kevin Campbell, Eddie Kelly, Jeff Blockley and Lawrie Madden all donned the jersey of both Arsenal at Leicester at some point in their careers while the two clubs also did business over Alan Smith. The striker, who was the top scorer in England during the 1989 and 1991 championship season, had been snapped up by George Graham for £800,000 in 1987, but due to the deal falling outside the league's transfer 'window' had to be loaned back to the Foxes for the rest of the season. Interestingly, he faced his new owners when City visited Highbury on April 20th of that year. 

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