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The Viola Lesson

BY PAUL WICKES / @afc_paul_wickes

I shelled out £40 for a ticket to watch Arsenal play Fiorentina in the Champions League at Wembley. First off, I remember it being bloody freezing, but I'd planned ahead and took a thick sweatshirt and wore my replica strip over it.

My seat was in a section right next to the away fans, who throughout the entire 90 minutes were amazing. They just kept singing all night and when ‘Batigol’ scored the only goal of the game which subsequently condemned us to the UEFA Cup, inevitably went crazy.

As disappointing as that result was, my residing memory of that October night in 1999 is of the travelling Viola. It was just an impeccable display of support; I shook a couple of their hands afterwards and congratulated them by saying 'Belissimo'. They made an impression on me. Good natured singing and not a trace of taunting or insults.

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