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Tuesday
Dec132011

He Just Knew

BY @din0kay

I was 12-years-old when The Arsenal won the league at Anfield. I watched it at home on television with my Dad who’d confidently spent the build-up to the game telling customers in the café we owned in Palmers Green that we were going to win. He was convinced. He just knew.

Fast forward eight years to Arsene’s first full season in charge and Arsenal were again in the title hunt. Indeed up until a trip to Derby County on November 1st we had remained unbeaten. It was towards the end of that month, on a Friday I think, that I received a call while at university telling me that Dad had suffered a burst blood vessel in his brain and that he was in coma.

The doctors prepared us for the worst making clear that in the unlikely event of him waking him, he would likely have severe brain damage.  We asked them toto take him off the resuscitation list if he suffered another stroke.

By the time Sunday came around Dad was still hanging on in there, giving us some hope that a miracle recovery was on the cards. He was opening his eyes, looking around the room and then falling asleep again. The doctors played down our hopes saying he was subconsciously reacting to noises around his bed and that he wasn’t actually awake. I drove home to get my Walkman so I could listen to the afternoon’s match against Liverpool - unbeaten at home at that point, I was quite confident that we’d win.

I returned to the hospital and shared the headphones with my Dad. Just before kick-off the commentators were reflecting on the Anfield 1989 triumph and they even replayed the famous Brian Moore commentary which we all know and love.

Dad opened his eyes and looked at me, he looked around the room, looked back at me and fell asleep again. He was too tired to continue listening so I turned the radio off.

We lost the match 1-0 and two days later Dad died.

A few weeks before he fell into the coma, I remember asking him if he thought we’d win the league that season. He said without a doubt, “yes.”  Dad never had the chance to see a single piece of silverware lifted by Arsene Wenger, but he knew it was coming.  He just knew.

Reader Comments (6)

Man, that touched somewhere inside. nice to read the article.

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterabhi

Awesome anecdote! Thanks for sharing.

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobC

Very touching, thanks for sharing that.

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJules

Nice story. To RobC, I wouldn't exactly call that an anecdote.

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Love this story thanks for sharing it with us.

December 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercooley1972

Nice post. Good story.

December 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter@mikeymike2711
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