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56 Years and Counting


One Saturday in 1955 my dad decided it was time for my first visit to Highbury, so we set off on the 20 min walk from our Stoke Newington home. It was a walk we would do hundreds of times over the years and one which held the same magic despite the ageing process.

It took several years before I had the chance to taste the success of winning silverware, but after the Fairs Cup win against Anderlecht it wasn’t long before the Double of 1971. Despite the eleven year wait I wouldn’t change a thing, in those preceding years I watched Jack Kelsey, Jimmy Bloomfield, Joe Haverty and then suffered the heartbreak of David Herd being sold to Manchester United. After that I had the chance to experience the careers of George Eastham, Joe Baker and the legend that was Georgie Armstrong. Over the years I saw so many heroes wear the famous Red and White of my beloved Arsenal.

When I left England to live in the USA my Dad phoned with the news that we had beaten Liverpool at Anfield with a last gasp goal by Mickey Thomas to take the League title again. He died before the arrival of Arsene Wenger in 1996 and the chance to experience the champagne football he brought to Highbury, but how I wish he could have seen Vieira, Bergkamp, Pires and Henry in their pomp.

Of course Highbury is gone now and the Emirates is a venue which I’ve only visited once from my home in Canada. I’ve got grandchildren now and although they don’t know it they are Gooners too. It’s strange when I look at my granddaughter, I was her age when my love for Arsenal started and I began making that walk with my dad.

These days I get my weekly Arsenal fix thanks to satellite television, the coverage is great over here, and although results at the moment aren’t that great after 56 years I’m okay with that. I’ll still be watching whether we win or lose, because Arsenal are my club.

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