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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
Mar282012

How It All Began 

BY LEANNE HURLEY / @ladyarse

When writing my blog and talking nonsense on Twitter one of the questions I get asked regularly, after ‘how do you stay so positive’ is ‘how did you start supporting Arsenal?’  This has been phrased many ways over the years from people who have a genuine interest to those who think that I should support my local team instead of one which is located some 300 plus miles from my house, but football isn’t logical. We don’t get to choose the teams who find their ways in to our hearts, like love, it just happens, and that’s the way it was with me with Arsenal.

Until I was 11 I didn’t support any English teams, I was quite happy supporting my local team, both home and away, and even though the standard of football was poor in the Irish League, even back then, I didn’t know any better. It was all I knew and I couldn’t get enough.  Sure I watched old First Division matches when they were on TV and my friends were always trying to get me to declare loyalty to either Manchester United or Liverpool, but I flat out refused because they just didn’t feel ‘right.’

Then, in 1987, when I was 11 years old and on a school trip, my footballing world was transformed forever.  The trip had been to Germany where I had lead the girls to a narrow 4-3 victory over the boys on the banks of the Rhine, my one and only ‘proper’ match in which I scored a hattrick, the third coming from the ‘spot’ and which was just about allowed.  Girls didn’t play football in Belfast back then and I can’t say I don’t often wonder ‘what if.’  On the way back home, an arduous coach journey from Germany to Northern Ireland via just about every country they could travel through, we stopped overnight in London.

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Tuesday
Mar272012

Home and Away at Highbury

BY VEGARD THORSTENSEN /  @ArsenalNorge

In my country, English football is sacred and far bigger than our own domestic league. The likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Leeds all have a huge number of supporters here, this down to the likes of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, John Arne Riise, Erik Thorstvedt having long careers in the Premier League. By now of course, you’ll recognise I’m talking about Norway…

When I grew up my love for football came from watching international football. My big hero was Roberto Baggo and I still recall being in floods of tears after he missed his penalty in the 1994 World Cup final. I was only 6-years-old at the time, but things like that you do not forget – it’s just the type of affect football has on you.

I didn’t know much about English football back then, but one day in 1995 (or maybe it was 1996) my Dad bought me a copy of FIFA 96 on the Super Nintendo. I was still very young and not speaking the language could only understand the basic commands such as: “Yes,” or “No,” or “Start Game.”

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Friday
Mar232012

Supporting From Afar

BY BEN NUGENT / @Nugent_LSF

Growing up in Clonmel, a relatively small town in Southern Ireland, to a family of avid Liverpool supporters (for the most part), I always presumed once I inevitably developed an interest in football that I would be draped in a Liverpool jersey and that would be that. I don’t have a clear memory of when exactly my interest in football began, I have vague memories of my father roaring at the TV on the rare occasions matches were shown on terrestrial TV here (normally FA cup games on the BBC), and my uncle in particular was always keen on seeing me grow up to support Liverpool-I thought it was a given.

My predetermined footballing allegiances changed however one fateful weekend when I was 8, at an age where my interest in the sport was developing at a rapid rate. I went on a weekend visit to my cousin’s house, one of whom happened to support Arsenal. The weekend was horrible. I was beat, chased and pummelled into submission. I was to support Arsenal….or else. And that was it. Living in fear of another beating, I made sure that I kept up to date with every result, and jotted each one down accompanied by each goal scorer, by way of teletext and Match of the Day (when I was allowed stay up) religiously every weekend.

At this point, Sky was a luxury in many Irish households, and as such, the only opportunity for a budding fanatic to watch his team play was via BBC and the FA Cup. My first discernible memory of watching an Arsenal game was the 1998 FA Cup final and Marc Overmars racing clear and nutmegging Shay Given. I was delirious with joy. What began as a chore conducted through fear was slowly morphing into an obsession.

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Thursday
Mar222012

A Rude Awakening 

BY JOHN W YOUNG

I’m an old Gooner and as such, one of my earliest recollections regarding a couple of our club’s most esteemed players, occurred way back in the early fifties.

In those days, we young fans, during the school half- terms, would go to Highbury and wait around to collect the players' autographs. I expect many of you other oldies did the same…

Anyway, on this one particular occasion we spotted the great Denis Compton along with his brother Leslie, or Les as he was mostly called, coming down the steps of the famous Marble Halls.

Excitedly, we kids rushed up to the famous duo. “Can we have your autographs please?” we asked, ever so politely.

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Wednesday
Mar212012

Following The White Rabbit

BY ANDRES SALCEDO / @alfabravoteam

I’ve been following Arsenal on a regular basis for the last twelve years or so, but because I’m from South America I’ve no story about getting myself to Highbury for a first game. While that will always be something I deeply regret, I have instead a story about finding a love without searching, about curiosity and about facing the unexpected.

Until the late nineties access to international football over here in Colombia was very limited. Often expensive and never more than a few matches, it meant the World Cup finals were often the best chance to watch European players for a whole match, as opposed to 30-second video snippets in the news. France ’98 was perhaps the last major tournament that I enjoyed in such a retro-romantic manner, but it was to have a lasting legacy. 

A lot of people will no doubt remember all the hype around Brazil and Ronaldo ahead of that competition, but I cherish the memory of another team. I gathered many newspaper and magazine articles as I tried to read up on all the teams and players and while I actually watched most of the games just for the fun of it, it was the Holland team that I began to favour. I was curious about their humungous goalkeeper and the defender with a really powerful free-kick…the kind of things that spike the interest of young kids I guess. And there he was. I discovered Dennis Bergkamp.

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Monday
Mar192012

On Peut Le Faire

BY PAVLOS ANASTASI / @pav_afc

Part of my degree entails me spending a year in the south of France, which I admit has its benefits. The sun, the sea, the ski slopes...all are easily accessible to a student and far be it from me to complain about them! However, the biggest issue with this arrangement has been supporting Arsenal from afar. It has been said on Twitter that this season has made people fall in love, if possible, even more with Arsenal and this has certainly been the case for me.

It has become almost a ritual for me to wake up late on a Saturday morning, blearily reach for my laptop and find a stream through which I can watch my beloved team, whilst following our progress on Twitter when the internet fails me. I've become known as 'Le Gooner' amongst my fellow flatmates, all of whom are the first to congratulate me/sympathise with me depending on the result. I like to think I have done my own little part to represent Arsenal in this most cultural of countries, even though I am unable to visit our wonderful stadium.

The match away to AC Milan was, I concede, a low point in what has been a memorable season. Losing 4-0 was harrowing, more so the way in which we allowed ourselves to be dominated on the pitch (if you can call it that). It hurt. This was the year that we were meant to do England proud in the Champions League, not to mention the chance to put one over the Manchester clubs, who had both bowed out during the group stages. 4-0 just wasn't in the schedule. My flatmates saw my hurt, saw the pain as each goal went in, and thankfully held back with the taunts. As soon as the match finished, I turned around and said 'Oh well, we'll have them 5-0 at home,’ more out of blind faith than determined conviction.

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Wednesday
Mar142012

A San Siro Farewell

BY STEFAN VLIEGER / @stefanvlieger

Arsenal away from home, especially in the Champions League, has probably been the most enjoyable feature of being a Gunners fan during these barren trophy-less years. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen Arsenal win a Champions League game in person! I thought I had seen our worst European performance ever when I went to Camp Nou last season, but then there was the recent game against AC Milan. Despite the terrible performance and a horrible result. I will never regret going to the San Siro, thanks to one man - Thierry Henry.

I became an Arsenal fan when RTL 5, a Dutch television channel, began broadcasting Premier League games at weekends. It was about eleven years ago that they started and thanks to a certain Dennis Bergkamp, Arsenal were often selected as the televised game. I didn’t know much about the club at that time.

In fact, I rather fancied Manchester United. I even had a fake David Beckham shirt that my sister had bought for me during a holiday in Italy. She’d let me choose between two shirts, the other one being an Arsenal shirt with Overmars on the back. However, he had just made a transfer to Barcelona, so I decided to have the Beckham shirt. The other one was for my twin brother René. But when I saw those live games on the box, with Dennis Bergkamp playing at that fantastic stadium called Highbury, I turned into an Arsenal in an instant. Winning the league at Old Trafford, the Invincibles season two years later, I couldn’t have picked a better moment to start supporting Arsenal.

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Tuesday
Mar132012

We Are Family, We Are The Arsenal 

BY ANTHONY OLIVERIO / @WeAreTrueFans

I wasn’t born an Arsenal fan! I have my former team mates at Field End Youth to thank for my Arsenal allegiance.

I was 8-years-old, just having joined my first football team. At the time I didn’t support a club, my brother was an annoying Spud (still is) but I wanted to be different. One training session later, I was a fully fledged Gooner.

“Mum, mum, mum, can I have an Arsenal shirt, can I have an Arsenal shirt.”

Not so long after I had my very first red and white uniform with JVC spread across the chest! That was it, the Gunners were in my blood.

I followed Arsenal as much as I could, keeping up with all the players and all the results. It wasn’t easy! My dad wasn’t really into football and what with my eldest brother being Spurs through and through, I never got to go to games. In fact, it troubles me to this day that the first live game I saw was at White Hart Lane against Crystal Palace. Needless to say I didn’t enjoy it and I couldn’t resist wearing my favourite Arsenal socks underneath my jogging bottoms.

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Monday
Mar122012

Because Of My Father

BY CONOR FOGARTY / @BastinsBoots89

Arguably the most common reason for supporting a club comes down to geography. By and large if you live near a football club, there’s a good chance you’ll have more than a passing interest in their existence, especially if you’re actually a fan of the beautiful game.

Of course, while supporters of smaller teams enjoy baiting more cosmopolitan opponents by chanting “We support out local team”, a presumptuous song if ever there was one, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being fanatical about a club which is not on your doorstep.

Given the global-appeal of Arsenal and the club’s proud history it’s not surprising that a large percentage of the fanbase are not from north of the River Thames. Everybody who follows the club though has their reasons.

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Friday
Mar092012

What Makes Us Special

BY NATHANIEL BREWER / @nbrewer90

Growing up in Norfolk the chance to attend Arsenal matches was rare, but when I did go it was always treated as a special occasion. My first game was actually an away fixture against the Crazy Gang (Wimbledon) at Selhurst Park on April 1st 2000, after I’d been given a ticket by a lifelong family friend.

Being only ten years old, it is perhaps my formative and most precious memory of the Arsenal. I clearly remember going to a pub beforehand and supping on my Coke while the others drank lager. As we walked to the ground I took in the atmosphere and we soon placed ourselves behind the goal, waiting for the players to emerge.

I’d been an Arsenal fan since 1997, brought into the Gooner fold by older cousins who’d all adopted the team years earlier. It’s something I’ll be eternally grateful for; supporting a club that not only has such a deep, rich and classy history, but is also one of the most forward looking around is a privilege.

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