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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
Mar072012

Cherishing The Moment 

BY CRAIG WESCOTT / @j4goalpostsblog

Like many Arsenal fans last summer, I too spent hours in depression coming to terms with the haze that had been the 2010-11 campaign.  It was a real roller coaster of a season. One minute we were beating Barcelona, the next I had to endure a birthday being taunted by a Birmingham City just hours after we’d lost in the Carling Cup final. By May there wasn’t much to treasure – it was another trophyless year.

Despite the low points what I did manage to cherish from a season which at times, had me in tears, was taking my younger brother to away games. They were actually his first matches and seeing his delight when we secured tickets for away games as unglamorous as those against Wigan brought back the innocence of my own early days supporting the club…a time when the club could do no wrong, when we had the best players, the best manager and were the best in the world.

I'd obviously been to games before but they’d been with my mates, seeing the game through Corona Extra-tinted glasses, sharing each other’s cynicism. There's something about seeing a game through the eyes of a younger lad which is refreshing and as I sit with an Arsenal FC branded mug of tea, I wanted to share with you my favourite trips from a crazy season.

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Monday
Mar052012

The Return Of The King

BY CHRIS FORD / @christhewino

This isn’t about my first game. It isn’t about winning trophies or anything anywhere near as glamorous as that. It isn’t even a tale about a game from the distant past. It is about my experience as a fan, and as a dad. And it happened just over a month ago.

I have been a regular at Highbury and then the Emirates since 2003, a combination of good fortune, good friends, good timing and sheer bloody determination have meant that I have missed very few games in that time and I have seen some belters. Liverpool at home on Good Friday 2004, Barcelona and Chelsea at home last season, that wonderful 5-3 against Middlesbrough that equalled Nottingham Forest’s 42 game unbeaten run and last weekend’s NLD are just a few of the stand outs.

I wont recount the games that stand out for the wrong reasons, most of you will have seen them too and you don’t want to be reminded anymore than I do.

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Friday
Mar022012

Mountains To Climb

BY CHRIS TOWERS /@ChrisTowers_88

In all the times I saw Arsenal at Highbury, I only ever sat in the North Bank. I would have done so again on a special day in the spring of 2004, were it not for an unfortunate clash of dates. I was 15 at the time, and when my Mum found me a ticket for the Liverpool game on Good Friday, April 9th – a higher-profile fixture than any other I’d been to up to that point – I was so blinded by anticipation that it didn’t strike me for days that rather than shouting and cheering in North London, I would instead be on a school-organised Easter Holiday ski-trip far away in the Swiss Alps.

It had all been paid for. So with no backing out, I had to reluctantly hand the ticket over to my brother. I’d be hitting mainland Europe as previously planned, painfully separated from Arsenal for what, as the trip approached, became clear were the most pivotal seven days of that unforgettable season.

Of all the weeks to be away! I boarded the coach (yes, coach) for Switzerland on the evening of Friday, April 2nd, and would still be on the road the following day as Arsenal took on Man United in the FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park. In midweek, the Gunners would host newly-competitive Chelsea in the Champions League, with a place in the last four for the first time in the club’s history at stake. I’d return on Saturday, the day after the Liverpool match. I left England that night with the treble a not entirely unrealistic dream.

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Thursday
Mar012012

Not Strangers Anymore 

BY HAMISH MACKAY / @H_Mackay

It’s easy to think of fans as a collective body, a multitude of like-minded people tied together by memories, a camaraderie induced by pain and ecstasy in equal measure. A fair view? I suppose, to a certain extent, that's exactly what we are…

Who, apart from Arsenal fans, can empathise with Manuel Almunia’s inability to keep his legs closed at potentially life-defining moments, or the frustration of having the only world-class player in football with a chronic fear of flying?

Who else still goes weak at the knees thinking about Bergkamp’s exceptional assist for Ljungberg’s goal against Juventus in 2001 or Wiltord sweeping home that rebound at Old Trafford in 2002? But the beauty of Arsenal, being as it is such a cosmopolitan club, is that these events that we share are, apart from our postcode, largely the only common ground between us.

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Wednesday
Feb292012

I Don’t Ever Wanna Feel, Like I Did That Day

BY JAMIE DALTON / @JamieDalton82

It felt unbelievable at the time and it still feels that way years later. For the first time ever Arsenal had made it to the final of the European Cup. Real Madrid and Juventus had been banished in style on the way and although we’d struggled against Villarreal in the semi-final it felt like the journey had been completed in a very Arsenal way. There was just one massive, juggernaut standing between us and the trophy – Barcelona.

The Catalan giants had Ronaldinho in their ranks, but with Thierry Henry still in his pomp I was unusually confident in the build-up to the game. That was until the whistle sounded and utter panic set-in, “What if we lose? What if we never get here again?” They were the two questions that kept racing through my mind.

I was already in an emotional state having decided to travel to Paris despite going through a tumultuous phase in a relationship. To say my decision to up and leave for France was greeted negatively is an understatement, but what did I care; this was the holy grail. I mean…it was the final of Europe’s premiere competition, a trophy I’d watched other teams win and dreamed one day we’d lift as well.

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Tuesday
Feb282012

Crystal Palace? Fuck off mate

BY STEVEN ANSELL

I was prompted to write this little piece of reminiscence by a comment posted on the  Guardian report of the fantastic 5-2 bumming we gave the Muppets over the weekend. This inbred half-wit was a Sp*rs fan who had the audacity to suggest that a fellow poster was in fact ineligible to support Arsenal because she lived in Penge, south-east London, and therefore, by reason of geography, should support Crystal Palace. This assumption is erroneous in the extreme, and I’m here to tell you why.

I too was brought up in Penge, south-east London, and Selhurst Park is indeed just down the road in West Norwood. And I’m sorry to say that this unfortunate accident of topography eventually became the reason for some of my earliest and most traumatic memories.

I had (and still have) a lumbering oaf of an uncle who insisted that I would enjoy being dragged to every Crystal Palace home game. I was five. I was defenceless and could offer no resistance. My mother was all for it, and the betrayal I felt then is possibly still festering away in some dark Oedipal part of my psyche. And so it began. It soon became apparent that my initial instinctive aversion was fucking spot on.

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Monday
Feb272012

How Did It End? 

BY COLIN BAGNALL

It was the 26th May 1989, the night of Arsenal’s title decider with Anfield. I’m not there; I’m on tour with a student production of Antigone in Northern Ireland.

At the quietest most intense moment of this harrowing Greek tragedy, an instant where the audience members has their hearts torn out, there was a rogue yell from just behind the stage scenery.

Michael Thomas had scored!

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Monday
Feb202012

The Small Things I Miss 

BY ALEX MANBY / @alexmanby

Forgive me, if you will, the shameless sentimentalism; I am unapologetic for it. I loved Highbury and I miss Highbury, impressive, functional and lucrative though our (comparatively) new stadium is.

1. The view from the top of Avenell Road.

I live in Highbury and have the good fortune of walking to matches. I walk over the South, or Danny Fiszman, Bridge to Ashburton Grove, which allows me to take in our impressive behemoth of a stadium from several hundred metres away, in a not dissimilar experience to visiting that loathsome venue Wembley.

But you never saw Highbury from several hundred metres away; it just sort of jumped out at you every time, almost unexpectedly, from its spot nestled amongst the terraced housing.

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Friday
Feb172012

Better Lucky Than Smart

BY STUART HILL / @arsenalstu 

My favourite Arsenal moment comes from 1988. At the time I was a hard-working(?) student at Cambridge University and, having supported the Gunners from aged 4 was really enjoying travelling down on the (then reasonably-priced) train to watch our renaissance under George Graham.

Like fellow Arsenal/Cambridge swot Nick Hornby 10 years previously, I was going out with a teacher-trainer from the local college (I recently discovered Hornby and I were also born in the same hospital in Redhill). If you bother to read on though, you will conclude that this is where our similarities end, especially with regard to story telling abilities...

Anyway, said girlfriend had just started her studies and was busy getting ready for her welcome dinner which is a big tradition in the university. I feigned the usual bored-boyfriend interest as she decided what to wear and how to do her hair etc. She left in a slight huff and I departed for a standard night down the college bar with a couple of mates.

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Wednesday
Feb152012

The Ghosts of Highbury

BY PAUL TUVEY / @BuxtonGooner

I met my oldest football mate Jay at half ten at Arsenal tube station. I walked up the quiet windy tunnel, still grinning from the words of the tube driver...

"This is Gillespie Road, also known by another name, but due to my North London heritage, I cannot bring myself to say it."

Our brief plan was to have a peek around the old ground before the match at the new one. We have both moved far north of London in the last five or six years, and this was our first close-up look at Highbury since we’d left.

Instinctively we headed to the North Bank entrance on Gillespie Road and squinted through the gates. Jay was right – as you looked, in your mind’s eye, you could see the turnstiles and you could imagine the walk up the steps to the terrace. It seemed as real as the last time we’d done it together, stopping at the top, drinking it all in before the bulldozers came to visit in the sad summer of 1992, our faces replaced by painted expressionless ones on the mural as they booted us down to The Clock End.

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