Navigation

Have a favourite Arsenal goal, player or match? Want to share the experience of your first ever game or the atmosphere at a Cup Final? Ever met someone who has played for the Gunners? 

We want to hear from Arsenal fans willing and eager to share something personal about their love for the club. All you have to do is email us via the CONTACT page mentioning 'MEMORY BANK' in the title. Your entry can be as long or as short as you like, just do your best to stick to the Queen's English. 

 

Thursday
Nov102011

Through the eyes of a child

BY STEVE LAWRENCE

Supporting The Arsenal has, over the years, given me some incredible highs, such as being at White Hart Lane in 1971 and watching Michael Thomas scoring at Anfield in '89, as well as the many lows any time we lose.

However despite the many memorable games I have seen, the one that I hold most dear is not a major cup final or title decider, but instead it is a friendly fixture. Martin Keown's testimonial to be precise.

December 2003 was the time that "An Arsenal shirt" appeared on my daughter's Christmas list, but it was Keown's testimonial that would be the first chance I had to get tickets to take her to a game. Our seats were high up in the old North Stand and as we emerged out onto the steps the ground was laid out below us, bathed in the late Spring sunshine.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov092011

The last goal

BY ALEX WALLMAN / @Gooneralex

I'll always remember that last day at Highbury. Climbing the steps from the concourse to take our seats in the North Bank upper and looking down on that luscious green pitch for the last time – it was as it always had been, very special.  Little box of chips in hand we each put on the extra-large t-shirts which had been laid out for us – they were huge, especially as I was only in small shirts at the time!

We watched the team warm up as usual, but the game to me is a blur aside from the moment when Henry stood waiting to take his penalty. The way he ran up to take it. The way the ball hit the back of the net. The way he acknowledged the Arsenal fans in the North Bank. The way he kissed the Highbury turf. It was tremendous. We loved Thierry Henry and we loved the fact he loved The Arsenal.

That is why my greatest memory of Highbury is also my last.

Wednesday
Nov092011

Passing the Torch

BY TIM STILLMAN / @LittleDutchVA

Attending one’s first match is the ultimate rite of passage for any football fan. I’ve documented mine elsewhere before (see here). But unlike most of life’s other rites of passage, the first football match is one that lends the opportunity to extend itself, so it can be lived vicariously through others. Since my first match in March 1992, I’ve had the pleasure of taking other family members to their first ever Arsenal games.

Passing the torch through the family is one of the football fan’s most sacred traditions. I’m not at an age where I have children of my own (well, I am. I’m 27, what I mean is, I’m not mature enough to have children of my own), so the well earned ritual of taking your next of kin to their first ever game is not upon me. But due to quirks in the construction of my family, I have had comparable experiences to call upon.

For instance, the youngest of my four elder sisters, Becky, showed little to no interest in football for the first 18 years of her life. She would cringe visibly at every mention of it in our household. In fact, she would sometimes go as far as to sigh audibly and flounce out of the room. For reasons that escape recollection, in February 2000, I had a spare ticket next to me for a home match against Southampton. Come the evening prior to the match; I had exhausted my coterie of schoolmates in an attempt to shift the ticket. I spoke with my Mum about how best to resolve the situation.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov082011

N5 in '95

BY @edthegooner

Every football fan remembers their first game and every Gooner remembers their first trip to Highbury. The visit of West Ham United on 16th September 1995 was my first trip to N5. The game finished 1-0 to the Gunners and being 7-years-old, I can only recall two incidents with any clarity.

The first was the feeling of despair when Ian Wright blazed a penalty wide. As the ref blew his whistle and Wrighty began his run up, it seemed as if I was seconds away from hearing the jubilation of the Highbury faithful. I couldn’t see a thing, but the groans that followed meant I didn’t need to. An opportunity for redemption arose when a second penalty was awarded.

For years I convinced myself that this was the final kick of the game. It was only recently, when doing a bit of nostalgic reading that I found out there was a full 15 minutes remaining. No mistake was made the second time round and the sound of “Ian Wright, Wright, Wright” reverberated around Highbury. He had a new Number One fan.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov082011

Yellow 

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.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov072011

A Letter from George

BY CHRIS BOOTH / @Faxthewax

I don’t really recall why I started following Arsenal. Maybe it was because I grew up in the Lake District which isn’t known as a footballing hot-bed, or maybe it was because all my friends were Liverpool fans (complete with Candy replica strips), but for some reason I ended up being different. Thankfully my dad never pushed his support for Manchester United upon me. Maybe in fact it was because I was just mesmerised by those classically cool JVC strips. My earliest football memories date from the ‘89 season and I was a 5-years-old sitting on my parents’ bed watching the title decider at Anfield. Obviously I probably wasn’t quite aware of the significance of the match and I don’t recall the emotions I experienced but it had a profound effect on my long-term loyalty towards the club.

From that point forward I was an Arsenal fan and I subsequently spent many an hour doodling prospective home and away kits during my free time and while in school. One day in fact I came up with such a spectacular design of multi-coloured stripes and squares that I felt the desire to send it onto the club naively assuming that George Graham himself would read it and demand it be made for the following season.

Astonishingly I received a reply from the manager himself. He thanked me personally for such an ‘interesting’ design and enclosed a signed picture, a fixture list and a recent programme. I recall looking at the letter and being mesmerised by this. The letter had a cool elegance, especially with the ‘old’ club cannon crest, and the gesture forever bound my loyalty to the Arsenal.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov072011

An underdog's revenge

BY JAY-JAY STOKES / @Puddleduck1978

I’m probably not like you. If you’ve taken a moment to cast your eyes over this insignificant piece of aimless blathering, chances are, you’re what I consider a ‘real’ supporter; you attend matches with religious dedication, you buy the various paraphernalia and your life revolves unquestionably around those glorious fellows in the red ‘n’ white. Me? I’m simply a fan; I get to games when I can.

To be honest, if you were to see me jauntily sauntering toward you in the street, you’d be forgiven for assuming I’m not even a football fan of any persuasion. Picture a gangly, dandy figure adorned in the finest bohemian pixie boots, with a pasty-white complexion, a veritable explosion of horrifically sculpted hair and a penchant for fancy-pants words – all delivered in my mellifluous Bristolian accent. That’s me. I’m unfamiliar with the nomenclature of football grounds, awkward and shy amidst the delirious jostling of a busy pub and the kind of person certain to embarrass any poor soul unfortunate enough to be accompanying me to a match.

Yet, doubtless to say, I share something in common with all of you: I can remember the moment Arsenal Football Club stole my heart, the moment a fleeting and childish fascination transformed into full-blown infatuation. It happened on the 26th of May in the year 1989.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov062011

Freddie...Freddie Ljungberg

BY KRISTONEL ELWE / @superswe

I still remember it like it was yesterday. The sun was shining, the kids were out playing football and the school day was over. I went to the football pitch just outside of the school territory to join up with the other kids who were already playing. We split up the teams, restarted the game that was going on and started playing. Twenty minutes a half.

The game was even and by the end of the second half the score was 2-2. Then I got the ball on the left flank, dribbled my way past one defender and scored what would be the game winning goal with just a couple of minutes left. I’ve always loved playing footie and celebrated in a manner like I’d just won the World Cup. A kid from the opposition team came up to me after my celebration and asked me “who do you think you are?” I didn’t give him an answer, but while I was running back to my own half I turned around and said “Freddie…Freddie Ljungberg.”

Two weeks earlier Arsenal had won the FA Cup final after two wonder goals by Ray Parlour and Freddie. As you all know the year was 2002 and it was the season I started supporting The Gunners. English football was massive in Sweden and everyone had their own favorite team. Liverpool and Manchester United dominated, but Arsenal was well represented as well.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov052011

My Religion

BY JAIME KEEBLE / @jaime_rae

Faith – defined as the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Regardless of tangible proof or the opinion of anyone else – faith is (mostly) unwavering.  I am not religious in the conventional sense, but I do have a church, I do believe in something greater than the sum of its parts, I do hope my proverbial prayers are answered week in, week out, and I prove my faith by wearing an emblem for everyone to see, on my chest. The Cannon.

Arsenal is my religion. Like religion I inherited my faith from my parents - being brought up in a house where Arsenal is part of our history, living a stone’s throw from our house of worship, being baptised with my first home game at the tender age of two and a half (it was 1992, we were playing Man City and was – apparently - an incredibly dull game until Ian Wright scored the winner in the dying minutes) and being presented with my first proper shirt at eight with my name proudly printed on the back.

It is now deeply embedded in my life and my identity. Results can completely change my mood, and there are days where I wish I didn’t care, but I could never be blissfully ignorant in such a way, as much as I occasionally try to ‘not care’, it just does not work.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov052011

The Class of 1980

BY GARY DAVIES

I don’t remember much from my first Arsenal game. I remember the opposition (West Brom) and I remember the score (1-1). Oh, and I remember turning to my Dad - who had taken me to my first ever game at Highbury (and certainly his!) as a birthday treat just after my 10th birthday – when we were one nil down, to say it would be nice if we could equalise so that my first visit wasn’t to see a defeat.

That’s all I remember from the game itself. I’ve since found out that it was on 26th April 1980, and that Frank Stapleton scored that equaliser. I’ve re-bought, via eBay, the programme that my Dad bought me on that day and which had gone missing, and I’ve discovered that I watched a young Bryan Robson play that day.

What I really want to write about though happened after the match. This game was exactly two weeks before our third successive FA Cup Final against West Ham on 10th May. Due to timing there was some sort of ticket sale or allocation happening immediately after the game, which meant that the club shop in Avenell Road was shut. This was particularly disappointing because my Dad had promised to buy me my first proper Arsenal shirt, and I had my heart set on the one worn in the 1979 FA Cup final - the all yellow one with blue trim.

Click to read more ...