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Kicking and Screaming


I had only just turned 4-years-old before the start of the 1997/98 season, but despite my age I felt I was old enough to go to Highbury. Well that’s what I would try and tell my family when they used to leave me in the care of non-Gooner relatives on their way to Arsenal!

I used to beg and plead with my parents and brother to let me go with them. So much in fact that it reached the point where I think they were tempted to put a muzzle on me. Finally, however, on Monday August 11th, when all potential babysitters were either on holiday or ill, I got my way. A situation, which sent my young self absolutely bananas!

It was a beautiful day for me, getting to join my family on the bus from Southall to Highbury. I was buzzing and when we finally arrived at Highbury I squealed so loud that I think passers-by gave my parents funny looks. I’d seen Highbury on the television numerous times, but as soon as we entered the stadium the atmosphere hit me so hard. I was entranced.

We took our seats in the North Bank – a 4-year-old on the North Bank, surely an example of fine parenting skills! And I can still vividly remember the smell of beer on everyone’s breath as we waited for kick-off.

I didn’t recognise who scored the brace that evening, nor did I register the ten other players on the pitch. I didn’t even know who the manager was. All I know is that I fell head over heels in love with Arsenal and that’s the way it is today and the way it will be until I die.

To read a match report of Aisha’s first match, click here.

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