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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. 

 

Sunday
Oct302011

The Routine

By BEN SMITH / @LimparHalfway

Initially I wanted to write about the first game I watched at Highbury but, in all honesty, I can’t remember it. My Dad took me for the first time when I was just six and I don’t remember an awful lot from when I was six, apart form the fact I had a mullet. I’ve narrowed it down and the opponents might have been QPR, possibly Southampton, who knows? The important thing is that I was at The Arsenal.

I’ve tried asking my Dad but he can’t remember the exact fixture either, the opponent wasn’t important. Going to Arsenal has been a compulsion for him ever since he chose to travel to his first game, on his own, as a sprightly youth in the 50’s. The fact that he would drag his kids along one day was never in question. My first game wasn’t seen as a special event, like learning to ride a bike, and it wasn’t viewed as a treat either; it was just something that had to be done. As soon as I was sturdy enough to be plonked on the barrier, I was ready to start going to football.

The next five years of my life, until the North Bank was closed for redevelopment in 92/93, feel like they were mainly spent on the North Bank. It’s not until the latter stages of this period that I can remember individual games. My reminiscences are dominated by everything that goes along with just being there.

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Sunday
Oct302011

Good things come to those who wait

BY MATTHEW COOPER

The 16th February 2011. For 60,000 Arsenal fans at the Emirates it was perhaps one of the greatest experiences of their time supporting the club. For me, however, the story starts over a dacade before. 

I've supported Arsenal for as long as I can remember, but the first game I recall watching on TV was the 2001 FA Cup final, an absolute travesty of a result as we all probably recall. I was only 8-years-old at the time and it didn't mean much when my dad was so down about the result. The next season though, I was in front of the TV again as Parlour and Ljungberg scored beauties past De Goey and from then on that hairy red stripe has been one of my favourite Arsenal memories.

Despite all my passionate following of the team on TV I struggled to get to watch Arsenal play at Highbury. In fact the opportunity never arose. Even when we moved to Highbury I still found it hard to get tickets to go with my family; there were just too many Arsenal fans going to matches!

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Saturday
Oct292011

A Special Return

BY CHAD LEE  

I used to live in Islington, going to both primary and secondary school in the area, but eventually due to a number of circumstances I moved to Dublin and have since made a life in the Irish capital.

On the occasions I have returned to London I have always made a detour to Highbury and when the Emirates was being built I used to love driving past it. It was a pretty awesome sight, especially from the Holloway Road end.

When my brother somehow got his hands on a season ticket I knew I wouldn’t have to try too hard to get in and made an early request to watch the Manchester United match in the first season at the new arena.

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Saturday
Oct292011

Schwarz leaves his mark

BY JAMIE DALTON / @JAMIEDALTON82

I spent a good 30 minutes reading all the entries that people have contributed to “The Memory Bank” and it creates a unique sensation to know that there are people all over the world who understand what it is to be a fan of our great club; supporters who appreciate the little moments watching Arsenal, the instances which may seem trivial to others, but are massive to us.

Unlike many of the previous contributors, I have no wonderful stories about how generations of my family have been born within a stone’s throw of Highbury, I haven’t had the matchday tradition passed down to me and nor did my parents meet on the North Bank. However,  the way I look at it, I’m starting that journey now. The generations of Arsenal fans start with me and I think others in my situation, wherever you are, should look at it in the same way.

One of my favourite memories which I hope to recount to any future Daltons centres on Stefan Schwarz, a man whose Arsenal career started and ended like an X-Factor contestant. He was up like a rocket and down like a stone, but without him, one of Arsenal greatest European victories away from Highbury would never have come to fruition. Let me take you back to April 1995 and an evening in Genoa, Northern Italy...

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Friday
Oct282011

By George!

BY SEAN CRAIG

The first match I ever saw was the 1971 Cup Final. I was only seven-years-old and ended up watching it in a neighbour's house over our back wall. At the time I didn’t have a team, although as an Irish lad I was a bit interested in Steve Heighway who was on the wing for Liverpool against Arsenal that day.

That was until I saw this God with long hair scoring a thumper, celebrating on his back on the Wembley turf and holding his arms out waiting to be held aloft for his subjects to admire him. That was my introduction to Charlie George!

I ran straight home after the game, got the crayons out and drew thousands of pictures of him. That year I got meningitis and my hospital room ended up having drawings of him littered all over the place...they even got mixed up with my patient charts. Charlie helped me through that illness and he and the rest of the team always helped me get to sleep; I used to recount their names instead of counting sheep. It never failed.  

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Friday
Oct282011

Champagne Moments

BY GARETH PARKER / @GarethDParker

When I was a child my best friend was Nick Lowe. He lived across the street and he had a Scalextric, Mr Frosty and the Millennium Falcon. Nick was as cool as an 8-year-old got. He even had a Soda Stream.

OK, so it was his mum that had the Soda Stream, but she allowed us to use it. We once made ‘champagne’ from a stolen bottle of Blue Nun. Halcyon days.

As cool as Nick was, he couldn’t hold a candle to his older brother Simon. Now Simon was 10 years Nick’s senior and had long hair, a leather jacket, listened to the Smiths… and supported Arsenal.

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Friday
Oct282011

Kids. You got to love them

BY CARL PALMER / @CPalmer_LA

Many times over the years since my sons were born (They are now 21 and 19, by the way), I have been accused of brainwashing my children. I never deny it. What sort of father could put up with the ‘viper in my bosom’ scenario of having a Spurs fan in the family? It unfortunately happened to an aunt of mine...we still weep for her.

What is he going on about? I can already here you saying. He is meant to be relaying an interesting and hopefully amusing story about his first visit to Highbury. That bit is quite quick. Arsenal v Liverpool,1975 and we won 2 – 0. I can’t remember much more about it, apart from there being a huge crowd and meeting my dad’s mates in a pub called the White House. I think it’s called Paddy McGinties Goats Arms now or something similar.

Let me give you some background about myself. I come from an area of London called Stoke Newington. Sounds quaint doesn’t it? Let me tell you it isn’t. Stokie as its inhabitants know it, is slam bang in the middle of Hackney, Tottenham and Islington. None of which are the most salubrious of manors, especially in the seventies when I was growing up.

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Thursday
Oct272011

The best 'French C***' I ever saw

BY SAMUEL RUBACK / @SAMUELRUBACK 

As a person who spends most of their spare time thinking, watching, arguing and tweeting about Arsenal, conjuring a specific thought or memory to write about has been surprisingly hard. In the end, my topic of choice would hardly rank as the most original but I make no excuses for writing about the man who most significantly shaped my formative years of Arsenaldom. 

The great man's influence is unparalleled, to the extent that i sometimes wonder if he was the first player to try the open body, curled right foot shot to the far corner. Despite the years of sheer excellence he provided one goal in particular which sticks out in my mind-that equaliser vs Spurs at Highbury in the 2005/6 season.

Starting on the bench, we'd been treated to a particularly unenjoyable game prior to his entry, with Diaby and Adebayor at their frustrating worst and Spurs leading through a goal owing to a combination from hell of Keane and Davids. 

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Thursday
Oct272011

One room, lots of lessons

BY @ARSEBLOG

The first game I really remember is the FA Cup final of 1979. I watched it with my Dad that Saturday afternoon in our sitting room. He wasn't an Arsenal fan. He has a vague allegiance to Fulham having spent time working in that part of London when he left Dublin in the 1950s. In fact, my first ever football memories are of watching my Dad play for his local side on muddy pitches when we lived in Yorkshire.

That day though, May 12th 1979, I spent in front of the telly wearing the Arsenal away kit. I remember it being given to me as a present, laid out in full on my parents’ bed. Shirt (made from strange, vaguely towely material), shorts (ultra nylon) and socks (socks). I think seeing it that day, the gorgeous yellow - blue - yellow, coloured, no pun intended, my view of Arsenal away kits since. The blue shirts just don't come anywhere near the simple beauty of that combo.

So, the game. Arsenal 2-0 up and cruising towards the trophy. Then United scored twice in two minutes to make it 2-2. I looked to my father for some kind of reassurance. This couldn't actually be happening, could it? I mean, how could these Arsenal players, to a man heroes to an 8-year-old boy (it's only when you get older your critical faculties develop, you know), manage to concede two goals to this Man United team, to a man monstrous, ugly brutes to an 8-year-old boy? I have a recurring nightmare about losing my front teeth and I am convinced that it was the sight of Joe Jordan in that game that did that to me.

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Wednesday
Oct262011

Putting things right in Cardiff

BY MICHAEL KESHANI / @keshani17

To understand why the game I’m about to talk about holds such significance in my eyes, I must take you back to 13th May 2001, the day of my first ever proper match. I had been to testimonials and youth and reserve games, but never a first team match and occasions don’t come much bigger than the FA Cup Final.

As a wide-eyed 5-year-old, the seven hour drive from North London to Cardiff passed by in a flash, but there are only five things I remember from the game: a woman tying my balloons to my binoculars so I didn’t lose them, Freddie Ljungberg’s goal, Stephane Henchoz’s handball, Michael Owen’s brace and leaving the stadium in tears as my dad promised we’d go back next year if Arsenal made it.

And make it they did. Somehow tickets were finagled and back to Cardiff we went. My memories of this game as a whole are slightly more sketchy than those of the aforementioned 2001 final, but I do remember the three key facets of the day as vividly as though they were the last game I attended: the two goals and the trophy presentation.

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