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A birthday treat

BY Gudni Gudjonsson / @gudnigudjons

Sunday May 3rd 1998 is a day that I will never forget. It was eight days before my 10th birthday and marks the date of my first visit to Highbury.

While I didn’t follow any specific team at that time my father had been a Gooner since 1971. Despite supporting the team all that time, the match against Everton was to be his first game in the flesh as well. He was obviously as excited as me and kept reminding me that if Arsenal won they would be Premier League champions. I remember replying: “If Arsenal win this game, Arsenal will be the team I will support”.

When we did arrive at Highbury my dad took me to the club shop and bought me this beautiful home jersey. I had no doubt about who was going on the back of my jersey. Do you remember the little Dutch fella who played in the number 11 jersey? Yes, Marc Overmars was at that time my favourite football player and the one for me.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember much from this match but I remember when Mr. Arsenal scored THAT goal in front of North Bank. I remember Marc Overmars tearing the Everton defence to pieces. I remember when Ian Wright came on as a substitute and I remember when Tony Adams lifted the trophy. From this moment on I was a Gooner and what a debut game for me. Four goals against Everton and The Arsenal were champions. When I went to school the next morning I couldn’t stop smiling. I spent the whole day wearing my new Arsenal shirt and telling my friends how amazing the game had been.

Since this game I’ve been to five Arsenal matches. Arsenal v Charlton in February 2004 at Highbury; Robert Pires and Thierry Henry destroyed them in the first five minutes. I visited the Emirates for a game with Fenerbahce in the Champions League in 2008 on Wednesday and three days later saw Samir Nasri put two in the net against Manchester United. I was at the North London derby when Cesc Fabregas scored this great solo goal just seconds after Robin van Persie had just put us up 1-0. And I was at the Carling Cup final this year and went back home in tears.

I’m a Gooner and I’m proud of it. I simply love this club. I watch every game on television, shouting and singing, supporting my beloved football club. I will forever be grateful to my parents when they gave me a ticket to Arsenal v Everton as a birthday present.

We’re by far the greatest team the world has ever seen!

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