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BY JAMES CLARK / @JamesClark2106

Back in 1988, my brother and I used to take up a position in front of the television every Sunday to watch the football. Only five and seven respectively, we had no allegiances, we didn’t watch for any particular team or a specific player, we were just two siblings with an insatiable appetite for sport.

As is the case with the majority of children, family members had attempted to shape our loyalty. My Granddad was a Happy Hammer, admiring the likes of Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst and Sir Trevor Brooking to name just a few! My Father was a Chelsea fan for no other reason than the fact he went to school with Peter Osgood at what was known then as Dedworth Secondary Modern (known now as Dedworth Middle School) the same place we’d later enrol. "It’s in your blood,” Dad would say, "He is almost family!"

Despite being handed second hand kits to wear, my brother and I discarded them and instead waited without knowing for that football sign. The sign that when it arrives you know is the moment that through thick and thin, through the good times and the bad, you will always support one team and one team only.

When you’re as young as we were at the time, everything is simple. There’s no money or relationship worries, you’re still trying to figure out which is your favourite Thundercat or Teenage Nutant Ninja Turtle and of course, what your favourite colour is.

In case you’re wondering it’s Liono and Raphael and I've always liked yellow, which as it turns out is not actually a pointless piece of information because one afternoon we found ourselves entranced by a team in exactly that colour. But that wasn’t the clincher. It was the fact they were sponsored by JVC, the same brand of television we were watching.

There it was, there was our sign, we were forever to be Arsenal fans. That George Graham’s side went on to win the League in a season which will forever be remembered thanks to Nick Hornby’s book Fever Pitch was a mere coincidence. It was countless games before that iconic Michael Thomas moment that we found what we were looking for. 

Of course now, when answering the question "Why are you an Arsenal Fan?" I can reply with educated, adult answers such as "I appreciate Arsene Wenger's self-sufficient attitude to the transfer market," or “I admire the club’s passing philosophy.” But 23 years ago the decision was made on a whim, a chance decision based on the make of my parents’ TV and the fact Arsenal were playing Nottingham Forest in their away kit at the City Ground.

Becoming an Arsenal Fan is not a science, there is no written’s just whatever works for you. I’ve got to say I’m very glad my parents owned a JVC. Things could have been very different. I could have liked blue and watched a game on a Samsung! 

God forbid!

Reader Comments (2)

God forbid indeed. Great article.

November 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

great were destined to be a gooner.
up the arse!!!

November 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterabhi
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