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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. 

 

Friday
May112012

One Goal, Three Points And A Chisel

BY SIMON RICH / @Cornholio73

Back in the day I used to travel with my brother Greg up and down the country to home and away games no matter how important they were. Whether it was a League Cup 2nd round game away from home, or a crunch game at Highbury, we were there. One particularly memorable trip began on a Saturday morning in October 1990…

Things were looking good for The Arsenal, unbeaten in the league and playing attractive football we were in with a shout of the title. It all added to the usual excitement of travelling to an away game at Old Trafford, even though I’d never seen us win there. I was 17 at the time and had seen us lose the previous year 4-1 and watched us draw 1-1 in the 88/89 championship season.

Instead of making the journey with the official travel club as usual we opted to travel in style in my brothers not so luxurious maroon Ford Orion. As you might expect, I don't remember much of the journey, but I do know we got caught in traffic near Manchester and were pretty worried we might not make it to the stadium in time for kick off. Eventually we parked up as close as we could and started jogging to the away end mindfully hiding our Arsenal shirts from view.

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Thursday
May102012

Shock, Anxiety, Disbelief, Panic, Despair And Anger

BY STEVEN PYE / @1980sSportsBlog

As an Arsenal fan of nearly 30 years, it is quite hard to put into words just how inept the early to mid-80s team could be. On their day they were a match for anyone, as this 3-1 destruction of Liverpool in September ‘84 emphasises. But when the mood took them, they were often capable of displaying levels of mediocrity that simply drove Arsenal fans insane.

As Nick Hornby concluded in Fever Pitch: "That Arsenal team – full of cliques and overpaid, over-the-hill stars – would never be bad enough to go down, but never good enough to win anything, and the stasis made you want to scream with frustration." Precisely.

So when I agreed to follow in my Dad's footsteps and support the mighty Gunners in 1983 you would have thought I needed my head examined. Rather cleverly, the old man failed to show me a league table, or any recent (post-Brady) results, so I was blissfully unaware of any potential issues with following his lead.

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Wednesday
May092012

One Dennis, Two Tributes

BY SAM DREW / @chroniclesofal

I’m still not quite sure how it happened, but on Saturday 15th April 2006 I ended up dishing out orange t-shirts at Highbury before Arsenal’s Premier League match against West Brom. The game is still known for being Dennis Bergkamp day, and the shirts were commemorating exactly that.

Bergkamp’s contract was up at the end of the season, and in our final season at Highbury it was a chance to dedicate a day to the Iceman, although he was eligible for a testimonial once he left; more on that later.

I was only 10 in 2006, so I don’t have a brilliant recognition of the game. In the race for Champions League football, we went 1-0 up, but the Baggies hauled themselves level as the clock ticked towards the 90-minute mark. By this time Dennis Bergkamp had entered the fray, and surely he wasn’t about to let his day be spoiled?

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Tuesday
May082012

In My Dad's Footsteps

BY TASHA EVERALL / @TashaEverall

I’ve grown up with my father’s stories of The Arsenal. He’s told me countless times how he wouldn’t leave the house if they lost and how he used to go to matches sporting makeshift jeans with a red and white scarf sewn down the seams on each leg and how he never failed to wear either the home or away shirt and his Levi jacket with two badges proudly proclaiming his Gunners affiliation.

I seemed to follow in his footsteps as a child. A fully-fledged tomboy, I would go to school discos in jeans and my Arsenal shirt, even though I wasn't particularly interested in the team. I would watch all the matches with Dad at my uncle’s house, but I’d often fall asleep or lose interest. I wanted Arsenal to win because Dad wanted Arsenal to win.

Something changed when Dad moved out. It wasn’t one significant moment; it was something that gradually developed in my heart. I found myself glancing at the Arsenal website for the scores to check if they had won. Then I found myself keeping an eye on the matches whilst they were happening. It was something of my Dad that I could hold onto. Now I never miss a game.

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Friday
May042012

Just Fourteen More Minutes

BY RASHEED CLARKE /@RasheedClarke

As a Canadian, I’ve come to accept that hockey coverage will inevitably dominate the local sports media. As an Arsenal FC supporter, that makes life frustrating. Canadian newspapers publish footie scores in tiny print on the back pages of their sports sections, and television networks rarely broadcast Arsenal matches.

Luckily for me, the 2006 Champion’s League Final carried enough cachet to warrant a televised broadcast. Plus, with the four-hour time difference between Europe and North America, the Canadian sports broadcaster TSN (The Sports Network) could show the Final in the afternoon without sacrificing evening timeslots reserved for obligatory hockey coverage.

That rare treat of watching Arsenal on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 17th, 2006, in the Champion’s League Final no less, remains one of my most vivid Arsenal memories.

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Friday
May042012

It began in Odense

BY SEAN MARLAND / @seanmarland

I was watching a highly fashionable Scandinavian crime drama over the weekend, when the city of Odense subtitled its way across my screen. Apparently some bird from The Bridge was off to university there, not that I caught much more of the episode, because as is often the case, my brain had found a way to think about The Arsenal.

As you'll probably remember, George Graham and his men travelled to Denmark for the first game of what was to be a glorious Cup Winners’ Cup campaign, back in September 1993. Goals from Ian Wright and Paul Merson gave us victory on the night, but when I uncovered a video of the match later on, two things struck me.

First, the high regard the Danes apparently had for Arsenal (during a time in which English football was hardly en vogue) and secondly, the opening interview with George Graham.

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Thursday
Apr262012

Gooner Karma

BY RASHEED CLARKE / @rasheedclarke

December 27th, 2010

            I line up three Asacol tablets and two rows of five tiny, white prednisone pills on the breakfast table. I fill a glass with cranberry juice and gulp the prednisone pills two at a time, then the Asacol tablets one-by-one. Three slices of white bread brown in the toaster while I chew a banana and slurp a cup of applesauce. I drizzle honey onto the toast slices and munch them while trying to hold back another urge to shit. I wipe the sticky crumbs from my mouth, swig the rest of the cranberry juice and take my dishes to the sink. I scrub the dishes, lay them on the drying rack beside the sink and run up the stairs, two steps at a time, to the bathroom. My stomach rumbles, my body aches, my third shit of the morning.

            I slip into a pair of dark blue jeans, button up a green shirt and wrap a red and white Arsenal scarf around my neck. My favourite football club, London’s Arsenal F.C. host their city rivals Chelsea later this afternoon at the Emirates Stadium. I’ll have to watch my beloved Gunners in between traffic reports at work. I feel like crap and I have to go to work. Arsenal’s gonna win today.

Christmas fell on a Saturday this year, so Torontonians had their statutory day off pushed to today. I work stat holidays, and I’ll be the only one in the studio from noon to six, guiding the city’s drivers around the quieter-than-normal highways.

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Wednesday
Apr252012

Words Fail Me

BY ASYIKIN YUSOFF / @asyiAFC

When Arsenal announced the Nike 125 project in the build-up to last December’s anniversary celebrations, I decided to just go for it. My challenge was to put into words what Arsenal meant to me with the prospect of my entry being included on the club’s official Facebook page.

When I received an email informing me that my story had been approved, I was elated; it seemed surreal, to be picked out of thousands of entries. Finally I could share with others how this wonderful football club of ours influences me.

Somehow though, in the joy of the moment, I managed to overlook the email from Arsenal’s Senior Media Officer revealing that not only would my story be visible through official channels online, but that it had been selected to be installed outside the Emirates Stadium on a stone bench. Even when the 125th anniversary match against Everton came round, I still had no idea about the existence of this special accolade.

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Tuesday
Apr242012

My Identity

BY NICK THE REVEREND / @goonerrepublic

One of my favourite snippets in Nick Hornby's 'Fever Pitch' is the bit where he describes that terrible dilemma faced when a loved one catches you off guard with the "What are you thinking?" question. You could well respond truthfully with an Arsenal-related topic, everybody knows full well what the consequences are likely to be.

I found myself confronted with exactly this problem many years ago. It was the dead of night, and the young lady I was seeing turned to me in the dark silence and asked THE question. Should I be honest? I should I be more cunning and tell her something that I think she wants to hear? After a few seconds of frantic deliberation, I decided that if the relationship was to have a future, we needed to be honest with each other. So I said: "I'm hoping Tony's ankle is going to be OK for Saturday. We really need him at the back."

There was a silence, during which I can only presume she was trying to work out whether she had actually heard what she thought she had heard. And once she decided that she had, she exploded. I won't recount exactly what she said - you can probably have a good guess. But the last utterance was: "I can't believe you're so obsessed by Arsenal. It's not as though it's your identity!!!" That was the moment that I knew we had no future, because that was exactly the point - it was and is my identity.

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Monday
Apr232012

Something Stuck With Me

BY ABHIJITH G / @arsenalmediawatch

I woke up on the morning of May 17th, 2006 to read in the newspapers that Arsenal was playing Barcelona in the final of the UEFA Champions League. I confess I was not a big football fan till then.

I had played football regularly at college but had watched only two football matches in my life up to that point: the first was the 1998 World Cup final between France and Brazil and the second was England versus France in Euro 2004. This Champions League match caught my eye as I had heard a lot about Ronaldinho, Barcelona and some bloke called Messi. I knew very little about Arsenal except Thierry Henry’s name also rang a bell somewhere. Anyway, I thought I should watch this match to see what the hype about Barca was all about.

I must confess that I have not referred to any archives to write this article except for the date of the match. As such the description is entirely from memory and might not be entirely accurate. I vaguely rememver that it was scheduled to kickoff around midnight, although I tuned in early to watch the build-up and how each side had made it to the final.

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