Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates his goal during the match vs. Everton
Gabriel Martinelli celebrates his goal with teammates during the match vs. Chelsea FC
Things just got more interesting in the race to win the 2019-2020 Women’s Super League. Even with the best will in the world and a full house at Meadow Park, trying to stage a comeback after conceding three goals in the first 20 minutes was always going to be beyond the realms of possibility for the Gunners.
Where does your Arsenal story begin?
“1957. My mother’s idea of getting time off from looking after me at the weekends was to give me to my dad. My dad used to go to Arsenal on Saturdays, I went to Arsenal on Saturdays from a very young age.”
What do you remember as a kid?
“I honestly can’t remember until about 1963. I was 6 years old.
“I remember we had our first European campaign, a match against the Belgian team RFC Liege, and that evening was the first thing I remember – Bob Wilson, it was one of his first games in goal. It’s just the green of the pitch. And Highbury, it would turn out to be my second home, that’s for sure.
“It was just everything – the greenness of the pitches, the noise of the crowd. It was the atmosphere around the place because obviously, it was something of a journey for us coming up from the Thames Valley.
“So it’d be the food beforehand, the journey over, it was brilliant.”
How much has the matchday atmosphere changed?
“Yes it’s changed in as much as the people who come are very different from the people who used to come in the 1960s. You have a much broader range of class of people. There’s much more of a mix of men and women, it’s a fantastic experience these days.”
Do you think it’s for the better?
“I really do, because for me now, the football in those days in the 1960s was everything. These days, the social side is everything. I’m glad I’m still an Arsenal supporter but getting down here and meeting people is great.”
Have you had any Arsenal-related experiences that you’d never forget?
“I’m very lucky being a blogger. I do get an invite to one or two things, not as many people think; for me meeting Robert Pires was an absolute joy in recent years.
“But going back again to the 1970s, I had a season ticket in the old East Lower Stand at Highbury and the players would come through the corridor underneath there before the game. And so you would get to meet them all before the game, get their autograph in a way that perhaps kids today don’t.
“You haven’t got to go back too far and you might have met one or two of them in a pub after the game. That certainly won’t happen today.
“And the other thing that happened as well – because they knew you. I used to go to away games every week and you would get players coming out and giving you match tickets whenever they were playing away from home as well, which was great. But I can’t imagine that happening today.”
Did you meet anyone in particular at the pub?
“The golden era would have been the late 70s, early 80s with the likes of Liam Brady, Frank Stapleton, David O’Leary.”
Has anything shaken your faith in the Arsenal?
“I’d be a liar if I said no.
“It’s an emotional experience following a football team or any sporting team.
“I guess it depends where you’re from. But no, it doesn’t shake your faith at any stage.”
Here’s to you, Dave. 🥃