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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. 

 

Wednesday
Oct262011

Afternoon Delight

BY SAM BROWN / @Gooner_Sam92

There I was, just another nine-year-old Gooner kicking a ball around in an East London playground, unsuccessfully trying to recreate the magic that Dennis Bergkamp had conjured up at St James’ Park days earlier. Little did I know I would be making my first visit to Highbury later on that day. 

I returned home from school that afternoon knowing that Arsenal were playing Derby County, and that three points would take us to the top of the Premier League. I anticipated that I would be nagged by my mother to do my homework, to eat my greens and, if lucky, as a treat, be allowed to listen to the game on the radio. I was totally unaware of the events that were about to unfold.

My Dad trudged through the door at 4 o' clock, surprisingly early by his standards, and proceeded to thrust a brown paper bag in my direction. “Here you are, Son,” he said, as I opened the bag expecting a couple of fizzy cola bottles and a flying saucer. To my shock and absolute delight I pulled out three Arsenal tickets. “You, me and your Grandad are off to see The Arsenal tonight...”

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Wednesday
Oct262011

A Constant Thread

By JOE MARDON/ @TheArsenal_

I don't remember my first Arsenal game. Those that do were probably older than my five or six years when I first attended Highbury, or they may have witnessed a memorable match. Mine was probably a boring draw during the 1987 season. Why Arsenal? Because my Dad is Arsenal. It is probably the most simple explanation for many of us.

Arsenal are the nearest team to where I grew up and still live. Eight minutes on the Piccadilly line. Russell Square to Arsenal. The Arsenal. The club has of course become a massive part of my life since then. Along with friends and family it's one of the few constants that thread my life from a kid until now.

One of the first games I can remember going to was the Littlewoods Cup Final in 1988, against the unfancied Luton Town. I'll never forget walking into that stadium and seeing the greenest, bold green. Or losing an amazing game that the logical thinking of a six year old simply cannot comprehend. A first experience of being let down in life.

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Tuesday
Oct252011

Thank You Dennis 

BY AASHISH BHSUSNURMATH 

I live in India and have never been to Highbury or The Emirates, but having watched almost every single televised Arsenal game for the last ten years, I feel a connection unlike any other in my life. As a consequence it was difficult selecting one particular memory to write about.

There have been so many over the years that came to mind, that Bergkamp goal against Newcastle, Keown’s taunting of Van Nistelrooy, admiration for Adams’ fight against alcoholism, love for Freddie’s red streaked hair, the beauty of the 2005-06 season home shirt...but then I realised there was only one player who could inspire me to pen my thoughts on the club for the first time.

I’ve been an Arsenal fan since 1999 when I was about 14-years-old and I will continue to be one for the rest of my life. I became a fan of the club because of one man…Dennis Bergkamp; the best player I have ever seen and probably the best I will ever see. I know that even at his peak som people will say he was not as great as Maradona, but there was something about him that I just fell in love with and through him I fell in love with The Arsenal.

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Tuesday
Oct252011

An unexpected visit

BY RICHARD BETHELL / @RICHGOONER1886

My first visit to Highbury was not to watch a game, but on a trip to London with my Mum and Dad in the summer of 1993. I begged and begged for them to go a few stops up the Piccadilly line from Covent Garden so I could take a look around the stadium I’d for so long dreamed about.

Thankfully, they eventually succumbed to my moaning and agreed to take me. When we arrived at the tube stop the thing that struck me was how every underground station in London looked more or less the same. Not this one though. This one was Arsenalised. I could feel my stomach doing knots.

We got to street level and then.....houses. Rows and rows of houses. Where was the ground? After asking a few people we turned a corner onto Avenell Road and there it was in all its Art Deco glory, the East Stand. Approaching the stadium I remember thinking how quiet it was, how small the stadium looked from the outside and how close people lived to this place!

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Tuesday
Oct252011

An Indelible Mark

BY @Yogis_Warrior

Football has always been a source of conflict in our house. Not because my wife supports another team, she just does not see the fascination. Nor does she understand the tribal culture. Which is surprising given that her family hail from Barcelona. And she does not like the antagonism that the mere mention of one of that cities professional clubs brings out.

And she definitely didn't appreciate being dragged along to a friendly between Maidenhead United and Arsenal in the summer of 2009. As I explained to her, a rite of passage was taking place; our youngest son would be witnessing an Arsenal match of the first time.

Our oldest son defected to the dark side when Thierry Henry signed for them. Having had his photo taken with the first team squad in 2005/06, sitting between Henry and Bergkamp, there was no little surprise when he bowed to his grandmother's pressure and supported Barcelona. A Faustian pact emerged; she could have the oldest, the youngest was Arsenal's.

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Monday
Oct242011

We Won the League at Old Trafford

BY TIM STILLMAN / @LITTLEDUTCHVA

I’ve been around the Arsenal blogging circuit for over five years now. Arsenal’s history and anything vaguely nostalgic about my own Arsenal reminisces are very much my twin muses. So when I was invited to contribute to The Arsenal Collective, I was excited, but then felt a hint of trepidation too. I’ve already written about my first ever game, my favourite ever player, I’ve written extensively about the rhyme and reason behind my Arsenal fandom.

It’s difficult to find a nook or cranny of the club’s 125 year history that I haven’t documented elsewhere. The idea of the memory bank appealed to me beyond words, yet I couldn’t think of anything to add. I couldn’t see that one hint of an opening on the opponent’s chin with which to deliver an uppercut of an article. Or so I thought.

Quite simply, I thought I would write in detail about the greatest memory following Arsenal. Given my emotional attachment to the club and obsessive match attendance, it would probably also qualify as the greatest night of my life to date. The night of May 8, 2002 is an evening I have mentioned on a multitude of occasions, but I don’t believe I’ve ever dedicated an article to the forensics of the night.

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Sunday
Oct232011

A wedding present to remember

BY DAVID ALEXANDER / @CALACUS & @ARSENALADDICT

There is nothing worse than missing an Arsenal game.

And yet Arsenal v Burnley during the Clarets’ solitary Premier League season will linger long in the memory even though I wasn’t there.

Having got engaged six months earlier, our dream venue was available on 6th March and, given that I’d already pushed my luck by having a Saturday wedding (despite the risk of my fiancée’s actress friends possibly missing out due to stage commitments) there was no way I could or would have made a fuss just because Arsenal were playing.

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Saturday
Oct222011

Why Arsenal? 

BY ANDREW WILKINS / @HESFIVEFOOTFOUR

Why Arsenal? That is the question I am asked a fair bit whenever anyone finds out about my Arsenal leanings and my answer is always the same. “My Dad brainwashed me”. A perfectly acceptable and common answer, but one I'm not entirely sure is correct.

Let me explain. Growing up, I was brainwashed by my Arsenal mad Dad to support The Gunners, but much to his dismay, I showed little to no interest in football, preferring to watch Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers and Talespin rather than Paul Merson weave his magic or yet another classic Steve Bould near post flick on.

This was not due to a lack of effort on his part. I was bought every single Arsenal kit, made to watch every Liam Brady related video he had (even to this day I can still remember John Motson's commentary from the last 5 mins of the 1979 FA Cup final) and I have since been reliably informed that as a 14 month old, I was sat in front of the TV for Anfield 1989.

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Friday
Oct212011

From Russia With Love

BY ANNA LVOVA / @MadRuskiGunner

My obsession with football is hereditary. Indeed, I have a serious suspicion that my father was born with a ball glued to his tiny little feet. I can’t remember him not watching or playing football. Ever.

When late at night in the summer of 1986 he sneaked into my room to watch the World Cup final between West Germany and Argentina, he did me a huge favour - he invited me to fall in love with football. I have cherished the beautiful game since that day and carry my devotion with me everywhere I go.  

Nowadays as soon as people realise how much time and energy I spend following the game their eyebrows raise higher than Carlo Ancelotti’s.  When I answer the next obvious question about the club I support, they look like Arshavin on his first day inside Arsenal’s locker rooms.

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Friday
Oct212011

The French Connection 

BY JAMIE DALTON / @JAMIEDALTON82

Valentine's Day 1989 – the date of my first game at Highbury and looking back on it, it really was a case of "love at first sight.”

I was just six-years-old as I made my way up the stairs to the old Family Enclosure for what was an unusual mid-season friendly match between Arsenal and France.

Managed by the legendary Michel Platini, Les Bleus also included established stars such as goalkeeper Joel Bats and Manuel Amoros and had a young Eric Cantona on the bench. However, despite the quality continental opponents, the Gunners won 2-0. 

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