Calling International Gooners

Lieutenant-Colonel Richard DidIt DSO and Bar, otherwise known as My Great Uncle Dick DidIt, was far from the hero his gongs would imply. The reality is that the man was simply a massive Con Artist, or what we refer to these days as a Salesman. History is littered with such rogues. Stan Flashman, Gerald Ratner and Harry Redknapp all spring to mind.

Now the reason I mention these unsavoury elements is that while some argue that what we at The Arsenal need is a defensive coach, a midfield thug or perhaps a spendy squillionaire owner, I would argue that what we need most of all is a Salesman. Here’s why.

Some talk of a recession and this will affect football. Utter claptrap. Every second that we sit here, up goes another satellite dish somewhere in the rapidly developing world.  Couple of points on this. The emerging industrial powerhouses of the world have a few things in common. One is, there are one hell of lot of people in them, and the other is many millions of them like their footie very much, and we are going to need them to stay at the top table.

However, in order to garner the support of future generations, we need to know what it is about The Arsenal that appeals.

Most domestic Arsenal Supporters were signed up as a result of emerging from the womb in the Borough of Islington, while some like myself simply followed a Gooner Father who I liked. Others may have had Spud Fathers who they didn’t like and simply did the obvious thing. Revenge.

However, what we know is that millions of bright eyed and highly intelligent young guns from around the globe discover their spiritual homes at The Arsenal. Why?

Whatever it is, we need to be at the top table in terms of desirability. Of course exposure on the world stage through Champions League Football is key, and I know that there are people who will suggest that trophies are the only measure of attracting new followers, but I wonder. What draws in new fans.  Do Utd have such a massive following in the Far East simply because of their Park? I don’t think so. David Beckingham got the shirts selling and the girls screaming. Ronaldo drew in homosexuals and lady boys. This was sensible and clever salesmanship.

Why do we have so many amazing fans in Nigeria? Is it just because of Kanu? Ditto Iceland with Siggi Jonsson? I don’t know but would love to find out. There are Gooners in every corner of the globe.  We are a global brand, a huge family, so what is the glue. What was the first seed? A game? A player?

So, International Gooners wherever you are, we all share the same Mistress. Why?

Written by MickyDidIt

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122 Responses to Calling International Gooners

  1. oz gunner says:

    Good idea for a post Micky, it’ll be interesting to see how it all begun

    Alan Smith, and my Grandmas love for Alan Smith. She was an Arsenal fan who grow up in North London but came over to oz. So i used to watch vhs tapes sent over by he sister (still in England) when she took care of me. Then thankfully they were always on SBS later on (good watching games that weren’t ridiculously delayed). My grandma started me young and now i can’t live without them

  2. Scott says:

    I have been a Gooner for 36 years.
    I live in Australia,and the first club I ever played for were nicknamed the Gunners,so it stuck from there.

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    Just saw your last comment. Pop goes your hope for maintaining quality :-(

  4. A/S says:

    Danish gooner through 15 years here. I started supporting Arsenal back in 97/98 after recognizing Bergkamp in an Arsenal shirt, having taken an almighty shine to him at WC’94.

  5. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    MDI89

    Because of Charlie ofcourse ;)

    Everyone in OZ used to have a 1st Division team or maybe 2nd Division; some even had a 3rd Division team; no one would own up to following a 4th Division team :)

    Arsenal will win the Title next year. RVP will stay & Arsene will weave some magic.

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oz and Scott,
    Wow. Its amazing what a great hand Lady Luck has dealt some of us :-)
    In my case, I was born in Brighton (50 miles from London). My father, although not football nuts, grew up a Wolves fan, but during his time in the army, he was with the Royal Artillery (aka The Gunners) so switched sides.
    He took me to my first game in ’73, evening game at home to Leeds. We lost 1-2, but I was completely hooked.

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Long time Gnarley, how are you?
    Australia leading the way today :-)

  8. MickyDidIt89 says:

    A/S,
    Great to here from someone else in Denmark.
    Could be like the Globalvsion Song Contest on here today.
    Do you all meet up with like minded souls in Gooner Bars?

  9. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Not on the medal tally in a month or so MDI89 :)

  10. Shard says:

    Arsenal fan from India. It seems strange but it was a computer game (I think Championship manager 97) which made me notice our great club. (Had only heard of ManU before really, and seen Beckham’s goal from the halfway line) In the game, the name ARSENAL stood out because it was a cool name as opposed to all the city names, and the white sleeves on the shirt were distinctive.

    My favorite player was Bergkamp after his exploits at the World Cup 98 and his being at Arsenal only strengthened my association with the club.

    I’d like to say that for me personally, the trophies were not a factor in it at all. I took those as a bonus because when I decided I liked the name (and hence the team) Arsenal, I took us to be a midtable team. What trophies do is, it allows the club to increase their visibility through the press. Such as ManU did much earlier, and then we did, followed by Chelsea and now City I guess.

    But I didn’t like the ManU brandwagon and hype. It put me off. I much prefer the understated way in which we do things. So I guess in a way, I found my club (or the other way round) Our history, our class, our football. All of these make me proud, and I identify with our club for these reasons in a bond much stronger than mere trophies.

  11. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It would be great to compile a list of Gooner Bars in various countries, and you could all send in mobile phone clips/pics.

  12. Hamed says:

    In my estimation I think I started being an Arsenal fan at about 1996. I must admit I didn’t know much about football back then, nevermind Arsenal! I guess the reason I started rooting for Arsenal is becuase I despised all the United glory hunter fanboys.

    Despite the recent disappointments I find myself loving Arsenal more and more. Actually I’m planning a trip to the Emirates next season; just waiting for the schedule to be released.

    Hamed,
    Bahrain.

  13. Scott says:

    My dad and a group of mates started the Glenquarie Gunners….
    We had a letter from Arsenal endorsing the use of the Gunners nickname.
    I’ve long moved from the area,but my brother was the first Gunner to play 300 and then 500 games for the club,and I was second both times.
    Some of my best memories were watching FA cup finals at the clubhouse….the only live game we’d get each year.
    I remain a loyal and avid Gooner to this day.

  14. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Brilliant post Shard and great to hear from you.
    I honestly thought this would be a rubbish post, but hearing from new Gonners around the world is fantastic.
    I love the different reasons you all adopted The Arsenal.

  15. Scott says:

    Oh,and my favourite Gunner of all time was Bergkamp….

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hamed,
    From Bahrain!! This is fantastic. If you do come to a game, maybe you could meet us all in the pub we get together in before matches. It would be fantastic to meet you.

  17. Gooner In Exile says:

    Hamed despising Man Utd is a very sound basis to start supporting Arsenal from.

    Also I love that Shard started because our name stood out on Champ Manager….lovely stuff.

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Scott,
    Where in Oz are The Glenquarie Gunners and why the name?

  19. Oriekot - Uganda says:

    My love for The Arsenal was accidental. That was in 1995. Back in the day, we did not have sattelite Tv in Africa. The little we new about football was through newspapers. The world cup of 1994 started me off, and it was because Dennis Bergkamp had a very good world cup then. I followed him to his next team, which turned out to be Arsenal. I have never looked back since.

  20. Ahmed el Hawary says:

    Egyptian gooner here, I’ve been a fan since ’99, what drew me to Arsenal was the speed of the counter attacks mixed in with bergkamp and finished off with Henry. I’ve been hooked ever since. Trophies didn’t hurt either. Since then I’ve been choosing London for most of my vacations just to go watch a game or two, I started with henry’s hattrick against Portsmouth in highbury’s final season and ended with the 7-1 win against Blackburn this season. Unfortunately I actually travelled for a weekend just to see us play spurs….where we lost 3-2, worst day of my life.

  21. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Scott,
    Just googled. Is this your lot.
    Brilliant pics of all the Young Guns.

    http://www.gunnerssc.com/index_files/Page1862.html

  22. Neal says:

    Left nth London for Oz when 7 years old and starting playing for my school team in ’71. I needed a club to follow and my memory of football was all about The Arsenal and the Double winning year ! And so it was. Became fanatical from a young age and still am. One sport, one team, one passion ( just don’t tell the misses)’

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oriekot an Ahmed Hi,
    Wow Bergkamp really made a difference to our global appeal didn’t he.
    Note to the Board. Sign a Superstar!
    Or just play The Ox :-)

  24. TH14 says:

    Damn right,I live in South Africa where we have a huge following of Gooner fans!

    Arsenal may be the pride of London,but its a truly global club…

    Form is temporary,class is permanent.

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Neal,
    Like your Missis doesn’t know. Yeah right :-)

  26. Double98 says:

    I grew up in Dublin surrounded by Liverpool and Man utd fans. My elder brothers supported chelsea, stoke (?wtf) and leeds.

    I was six in 1979 when one of the few televised soccer events of those days, the FA Cup final featured arsenal and man utd.
    It was the first match i ever watched from start to glorious finish.
    I favoured arsenal from the start as i loved the kit to be frank – how could you not like yellow and blue

    but i started out neutral and all my friends, neighbours etc were up for man u, even the liverpool heads
    so being a contrary child i asked why and they all talked about the great irish connection with the man utd
    but i said “Arsenal have 6 irishmen in the team.” (albeit 3 of them where northies) and an irish manager!!
    People seemed blind to this.

    I watched the game with about 6 or 7 kids and a couple of adults in my friends house and as the magic of that game wore on, the underdogs bit twice before half time and then with 5 minutes left the favourites scored twice and the triumpantism in the room was sickening – i had watched the first capitulation of my team and i felt crest fallen –

    i think oddly that losing the two goal lead was where the emotional tie was formed – if we had of just won 2 nil i probably would have just gone on another year and supported one of the herd teams.
    But as the entire room was jumping around singing “Glory glory”i sat there distraught, irealising that i had a stake in the game.

    And as that fragile link sat in place Alan Sunderland whacked it into permanance with an almighty sliding hammer.

    and ever since my character development and emotional wellbeing has been linked to the fates of 11 red shirts with white sleeves 287 miles away.

    nothing is more local than your heart

  27. Hamed says:

    MickyDidIt89, I’ll take you up on that offer, mate. I’ll keep you updated on my travel plans.

  28. Neal says:

    Double98
    I was there with you living every kick of that game as would have been all other Gooners. The one other remarkable match that sits right at the forefront of Arsenal folklore in my mind is Mickey Thomas slotting home in the last match of the season against Liverpool where we won the league on goal difference from Liverpool. Extraordinary !
    Neal

  29. Abdulrahman says:

    I live in kuwait and ive been a gooner for 15 years now main reasons are its in london and i went to highbury for a game and it was amazing and bergkamp was there so from that day on ive been a gooner

  30. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hamed,
    Great. I’ll go out of my way to make sure Im at that game.
    Abdulrahman,
    Jeepers, Bergkamps name again.
    I think we are beginning to build up a Blueprint for my Salesman!

  31. Abiola says:

    I’m a Nigerian and I’ve been an Arsenal since 2002. I hate defensive minded teams and was very happy with France comeback against Italy in Euro 2000 final.

    Back then I like Ajax, Madrid and Arsenal because of the style of play. Out of the three Arsenal belongs where my language is spoken.

    As for many Arsenal fans in Nigeria. They prefer English league because of language and kick off times not late night like la liga. Kanu was also there and Arsenal was successful and known for their beautiful football.

    It’s not just because of Kanu, Jay Jay Okocha was also loved and his clubs didn’t get such followership likewise when Martins was in Inter.

    If it’s just success, Barcelona should have the largest fanbase here but Arsenal, Chelsea and Man U have more fans than them in Nigeria.

    You might wonder what language has to do. An English speaking person would find Everton vs Bolton more appealing than Cagliari vs Udinese. Apart from pronunciation, he won’t be able to read the banners the Italian fans are holding, he’ll definitely prefer English commentary and so on.

    The English language, quality of English league, the success of the team and having a Nigerian player was the foundation for Arsenal fanatism in Nigeria.

    Can’t wait for Arsenal to arrive Abuja.

    We are the proudest in the country until Wenger and co allowed Chelsea’s recent domination in London :-(

    I hope we’ll win the CL soon and further cement ourselves as the Pride of London.

  32. Ould Azzaz says:

    A Moroccan fan since 1973

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Abiola,
    Great point about the language. I guess that’s part of the reason we appear to have so few Gooners in South America. Apart from the fact they have great domestic sides, they will have a linguistic link to the Spanish Clubs.
    Do the French speaking African countries follow French teams do you think?

  34. TT says:

    I just like red lol….Nah, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry sealed the deal for me.

    I am from Trinidad and Tobago, always liked football but watched it casually. At that time (late 90’s early 2000’s) so, Manchester United was the biggest thing for us because we had Dwight York playing there and I remember them winning the treble and my dad saying see that team, that’s the best team in England. For some reason I just never really liked them…something about them just kinda rubbed me the wrong way (to this day I say its because I was meant to be an Arsenal fan hahahaha). But yeah, that’s kinda how i got introduced to club football.

    Then I remember at 12 years old watching the 2002 world cup (at that time all I watched was world cup football) and seeing players like Bergkamp, Henry and Seaman and saying to myself…”Damn those players are pretty good”. Then I found out that all of them played for the same club…Arsenal. So the logical conclusion was if these players who impressed me so much in the world cup all played for the same team then Arsenal must be some kind of monster lol.

    Then years much later (sadly, cause I missed some great stuff) I decided to start seriously watching club football and I remembered Arsenal, so decided to check them out….blown away by their fast flowing style never stopped watching them since.

    I’m kind of a recent fan you should say because I have only been seriously supporting them for 6 years….hope I’m not the Jinx that caused us to go this little stretch without silverware hahahaha

  35. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Why Arsenal Ould?
    Our first poster from Morocco I think. Great.

  36. Rasp says:

    Well done Micky, it was always going to be a quiet day in the UK today, these are the hits you’ve attracted from around the world so far…………

    Worldwide hits

  37. chas says:

    What a fantastic post, Micky.
    Loving the responses from around the world.
    Shard’s “brandwagon” is a brilliant way of describing those hitching a ride with Manyoo.

    My old man was such a passionate Arsenal supporter that we knew to keep out of his way if the team had suffered a defeat. Why I would want to inflict the same sort of emotional torture upon myself as I’d seen him endure? I’m not quite sure. However there was simply no other choice. Arsenal is my philosophy, my religion, my one true passion.

  38. aus gooner says:

    We moved from oz to London (near Stamford Bridge). Rowdy Chavs fans used to keep me awake at night. So I did the only logical thing-chose the first to beat them and support them. Funnily enough that was Arsenal

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    Love that chart.
    However, we have Bahrain, Nigeria, S. Africa and Morroco as well!

  40. Rob Lucci says:

    Arsenal fan from Malaysia. Started supporting Arsenal since 98/99 season. There’s only two top club in Premier League back then and the choices was quite easy. Like Hamed, I started rooting for Arsenal because I despised all the United glory hunter fanboys.

    It’s a little bit difficult here to support Arsenal because bragging rights matters more than anything. Chelsea and City’s fan’s number is growing up each year, and Arsenal fans number more or less is still the same since the Invincible. and i’ve seen some Spuds supporters too somewhere in the last two years, don’t know how the bragging rights comes with that one. :-)

    Oh, and my favorite Arsenal player is Tomas Rosicky.

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha ha aus gooner. What a great reason :-)

  42. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, those are the stats from WordPress from about an hour ago, I don’t know why they don’t show the other figures you mention.

  43. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey,
    Who are you in the northern most bit of Canada? Practically the North Pole.
    I so want a hit from Antarctica.

  44. Rasp says:

    Yea Micky, and South America is lagging behind a bit. I don’t know if there is a hotbed of support anywhere in S. America – I suppose they’ve got the clubs in Brazil anmd Argentina to follow.

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    I never write a post to garner quantity hits, but this is fabulous hearing from Gooners around the world.

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    Still asleep, although what 152 of our brothers or sisters are doing up in the middle of the night in the States, I don’t know. Hard core dedication I reckon.

  47. Rasp says:

    I agree Micky. I know you thought this was not the best day, but its been a great success and encouraged many who just read the site to place a comment – well done to you – and to them!

  48. Rasp says:

    Micky, I’ll try to put up another graph at the end of the day to reflect the 24hr period.

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Tragically, we have friends for lunch, so I have to go.
    Thank you all. Keep coming.
    Back later.

  50. Rhyle says:

    Great post with great comments. Keep ‘em coming, gents – fantastic to hear peoples journey to the promised land of Red…

    As for me, Dad who was ok I suppose (hehe) but who was definitely handy with a belt should you hint at supporting someone else…lol…I kid, I kid…

  51. Steve says:

    Hola GOONERS everywhere
    If you are ever in the Costa Blanca check out the Arsenal supporters club in a town called Javea ( between AlIcante and Valencia)
    We have every game on live and my fellow Gooners in the Uk even call me for updates and how we are playing in the games
    GOONERS Here GOONERS There GOONERS Every f**king Where
    Have a great Sunday where ever you are in Gooner land
    Steve ( Javea)

  52. Rasp says:

    Thanks Steve, great to hear from you, we will have to make a pilgrimage to Costa Blanca to mingle with all you lucky gooners in the sun :)

  53. rasheed says:

    i am a nigerian gunners fan. I started supporting arsenal fc after watching season review clips on a local tv station featuring kanu for the gunners.Although i was rather naive back then but the gunners style of play got me hooked on and despite a couple of trophyless seasons i can’t imagine myself supporting any other club around the globe other than the GLORIOUS ARSENAL for the bond binding me to the club is inexplicable, inextricable and much stronger than the strong nuclear force. Fellow fans keep the FAITH afterall the darkest period is just before the dawn.

  54. Rasp says:

    Hi Rasheed, Kanu is the reason for a lot of Arsenal support from Nigeria. I believe he (like Drogba) does do a lot of good things for worthy causes in Africa.

  55. boomergooner1727 says:

    Californian here.

    I’m 21 years old and got my big taste of european football (players) in the 98 world cup. Even though he wasn’t the star of the show i loved henry and my brother, zidane. from then on i supported the fff. i had already watched a bit of serie a, was fond of juve ironically, and after the world cup fell in love with the prem.

    i had already picked us as my team (as dedicated as an 8yo can be) but i guess thierry’s transfer was the real beginning. i think he was meant to lead me to le prof, whom i instantly took a huge liking to. there was something about his philosophy and the way he went about his business that captivated me from a very young age. our style of football stood out above everyone else even in a losing effort.

    not to get cheesy but as much as i love my favorite american sports teams in the NBA, NFL, MLB, college sports, golf and tennis, i hold arsenal far above the rest. there has never been a point in my life that i couldn’t see myself picking arsenal for all that we (at least try) to represent and there is something about the history of european club football, especially ours, that can make american sports look downright plain at times. the place we hold in world football, i believe, is of great relevance and fuels my belief that things can be done the ‘right’ way as much as it’s makes us rip our hair out these past few season.

    i should note that i am not quite your average american supporter, if only for the fact that i never miss a match, literally (well maybe 4 or 4 this season but that’s it including cups and preseason). the time difference means my neighbors have heard as many screams of van persie’s name as profanity at some ungodly hours of the morning throughout this season.

    i also watch sky sports live at 11pm before bed and get most of my gooner news from bloggers such as legrove, online gooner, etc along with newsnow and like any good supporter, don’t believe a player has signed for the club until his 5th league appearance or so.

    and last year, since wenger won’t come to the states, my biggest complaint about the man (ha, i wish), i had to make the trip to finally see the boys. i was lucky(?) enough to be in the 17th row for the 3-3 draw in the derby last year and can now finally say i’ve witnessed the frustrating greatness that my life revolves around. it was an experience i’ll never forget and capitalized my sincere distaste for our unaccomplished neighbors.

    so i’ve rambled a bit but it’s out of love. i hope that our future preseason tours can include the states but i will certainly back, hopefully for some european action next time.

    to answer the question directly, there is something truly special about this club regardless of any trophy drought or stigma concocted by the media that most people here base their MLS/donovan-loving opinions on. as i said before, i like what we do and how we do it. i’m certain i’m stealing someone’s line with the closing sentiment that we are nowhere near perfect but at least we aren’t sp*rs, and in the big picture that’s all i ask for.

  56. Marty says:

    I lived with a spuds fan in college. He was a real asshole. He asked who I liked and told him I didn’t have a team. I asked him who his team was and he replied spuds. So of course I asked who their nemesis was and he said Arsenal.

    Been a die hard Gooner ever since.

    Marty
    Fort Lauderdale

  57. Rob Lucci says:

    Arsenal fan from Malaysia. Started supporting Arsenal since 98/99 season. There’s only two top club in Premier League back then and the choices was quite easy. Like Hamed, I started rooting for Arsenal because I despised all the United glory hunter fanboys.

    It’s a little bit difficult here to support Arsenal because bragging rights matters more than anything. Chelsea and City’s fan’s number is growing up each year, and Arsenal fans number more or less is still the same since the Invincible. and i’ve seen some Spuds supporters too somewhere in the last two years, don’t know how the bragging rights comes with that one. :-)

  58. RockyLives says:

    These are my favourite comments on any Post on Arsenal Arsenal ever.

    Micky, you’re a genius.

    Great stories from so many great Gunners around the globe.

    Boomer, I lived in LA for a few years and well remember the antisocial hours involved in watching the matches. I watched most of them at an English pub in Studio City (the Fox and Hounds). It was quite an adjustment to get used to watching 3pm kick-offs at 7am, but the consolation was having a nice English fry-up in front of me :)

  59. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    You’ll get the full list of international hits if you click on the word “summaries” at the top right of the map section…

    I can do that bit, but I don’t know how to get it into a comment :(

  60. Anto says:

    Arsenal fan from kenya.followed Arsenal since 98 after the heroics of Dennis Berghkamp and Patrick Viera…I love this mighty club of ours since it gives me some of the highest highs but also some of the lowest lows.but i would not substitute it for anything.I remember sneaking out of boarding school to go watch a game and got suspended for my troubles!!! we have not won any trophies of late but we still have more Arsenal fans in Kenya than both united and Chelsea!! hoping to win a trophy next season…ARSENAL.BY FAR THE GREATEST CLUB!!

  61. GunnerN5 says:

    Born in Highbury and embedded in Arsenal “speak” since I was able to understand, I’ve lived in Mexico, Couer d’Alene Idaho and various places in Canada, curently living in London, Ontario.

    Of all the places I’ve lived the only place where I didn’t find another supporter was in Couer d”Alene, but that’s not too surprising it’s in the mountains and had a population of less then 5,000.

  62. Manc Gooner says:

    My family originate from Nigeria but strangely enough I was born a Gooner (18 now). My Grandma was really into football but only supported local teams and the National team. So my mum was into football too and she watched the premier league and supported Arsenal. Now me and my siblings are all die hard Arsenal fans as well. If I didn’t support Arsenal I’d probably be disowned. And we all intend on keeping the team within the family.
    I moved to manchester as a kid and being an Arsenal fan surrounded by United fans made me hate them with a passion and now City fans are popping out of nowhere too so over the last couple of years I’ve developed an intense hatred of them too. The older I get the more I love Arsenal, even without the trophies. We have more class than most teams could dream of and pay football the right way.

  63. Ahmed el Hawary says:

    It’s me the Egyptian gooner again, I have an interesting arsenal story I’d like to share, I was on vacation in kualalumpur summer of ’04 and I had just purchased the then new home and away kits, and the Nike store they’re didn’t have name printing and neither the one in Egypt. So I searched everywhere until I found the official man utd store, so I went asked for a shirt printing and when the guy asks me what number I say fourteen , he gives me a wierd look coz man u’s 14 was djemba djema or Quintin fortune at that moment I pull my arsenal shirts from the bag!! The look on the guys face was priceless, he was nice enough to do it though.

  64. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky…..
    These are the international hits today over the last 5 hours.

    2012-05-20 to Today
    Country Views
    United Kingdom 8,478
    United States 2,924
    Australia 1,071
    Iceland 1,044
    Canada 710
    Malaysia 387
    India 316
    Kenya 281
    Ireland 268
    Singapore 264
    Nigeria 209
    Norway 205
    Indonesia 156
    Sweden 149
    South Africa 145
    Germany 121
    Poland 98
    Denmark 87
    Netherlands 85
    Uganda 83
    France 78
    New Zealand 70
    Spain 69
    Thailand 60
    Viet Nam 56
    Switzerland 55
    Hong Kong 53
    Finland 51
    Philippines 44
    Belgium 44
    Italy 43
    United Arab Emirates 43
    Turkey 40
    Ethiopia 39
    Japan 38
    United Republic of Tanzania 37
    Pakistan 36
    Russian Federation 35
    Egypt 35
    Israel 34
    Cyprus 33
    Serbia 32
    Malta 30
    Bosnia and Herzegovina 28
    Brazil 26
    Bulgaria 24
    Austria 24
    Ghana 23
    Saudi Arabia 22
    Bahrain 22
    Croatia 22
    Zimbabwe 22
    Jamaica 21
    Mauritius 21
    Hungary 19
    Trinidad and Tobago 19
    Greece 18
    Mexico 17
    Romania 16
    Macedonia 16
    Lebanon 15
    Albania 15
    Czech Republic 15
    Republic of Korea 15
    Malawi 13
    Namibia 12
    Mongolia 12
    Nepal 11
    Georgia 10
    Botswana 10
    Slovenia 10
    Senegal 9
    Cayman Islands 9
    Luxembourg 8
    Zambia 8
    Slovakia 8
    Chile 8
    Tunisia 8
    Gambia 7
    Portugal 7
    Colombia 7
    Latvia 6
    Jordan 6
    Bangladesh 6
    Morocco 6
    Liberia 5
    Brunei Darussalam 5
    Taiwan 5
    Ukraine 5
    Eritrea 5
    Rwanda 4
    Argentina 4
    Peru 4
    Azerbaijan 4
    Cuba 4
    Lithuania 3
    Qatar 3
    Bermuda 3
    Mozambique 3
    Cambodia 3
    Maldives 3
    Moldova 3
    Montenegro 2
    Djibouti 2
    Algeria 2
    Ecuador 2
    Belarus 2

  65. Rasp says:

    ….. that’s more than the Eurovision Song Contest :lol:

  66. RockyLives says:

    Ahmed :)
    That’s a brilliant story!

  67. Gooner In Exile says:

    This is such an enjoyable post due to the comments alone.

  68. Gooner In Exile says:

    The post was also top quality :)

  69. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    Were there any “1 hit” countries?

  70. Ahmed el Hawary says:

    I looked it up coz I was going crazy, at the time Utd’s no. 14 was tim howard!!! haha

  71. Rasp says:

    Rocky, these are the 1 hit countries – I somehow left them of the list above……

    Angola 1
    Guinea-Bissau 1
    China 1
    Armenia 1
    Faroe Islands 1
    Dominica 1
    Sri Lanka 1
    Sudan 1
    Dominican Republic 1
    Benin 1
    Côte d’Ivoire 1
    Vanuatu 1
    Macao 1
    Oman 1
    Saint Lucia 1
    Venezuela 1

  72. Micky – this was a really super post, I’ve loved reading all the overseas Gooner stories – what a great idea :)

  73. RockyLives says:

    Tim Howard!
    No wonder he looked so horrified Ahmed :)

  74. Sayan Sanyal says:

    Hey, Arsenal fan from India. Ironically, Arsenal haven’t won a single trophy since I have started supporting them – I keep telling myself that correlation doesn’t imply causation and this purely coincidental. The first match I watched was the CL finals, and my heart went out for Arsenal as Barca clawed back to win against the 10 man Gunners.

    The reason I fell for Arsenal as a team was their philosophy and the way they went about business. Often I am asked, whether my loyalties would change if Arsenal were bought by a sugar daddy who turned it to a citeh or Chelski, and I think it would. I support Arsenal for the principles it follows, though a lot of nostalgia as well as attachment has developed over the last 6 trophy less seasons.

    How I wish that changes. Also, I first noticed Arsenal in FIFA 2004 (Game) as the team with the coolest name.

  75. jnyc says:

    Micky. Superbly composed. i have often wondered about the international appeal. Interesting, i might write an article to respond. To try and say why personally, but its hard to explain. Nyc johnnie

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow.
    All I can say is that “International Gooners” you are a credit to the Club. I love your stories and reasons for choosing to be Gooners. So many of us were simply born into it, whereas you guys have selected Arsenal for all the reasons that make it such a fabulous family to be part of.
    Great stuff.

  77. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great idea Johnny. Can’t wait to read it.

  78. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Also Johnny,
    Tell us what it feels like to be a Gooner as well as a “soccer” fan in the US, as I know its a minority sport. Do your mates think you’re nuts? :-)

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    Great post Micky, really enjoyed reading it, including the comments it generated. :)

    Great to see Gooners from all over the world comment with such passion for, and knowledge of the club. A big welcome to you all! :)

    Over the last seven days we have learned a lot about the identity of the club, including its deep past, recent past and current football philosophy and what supporters love about the Arsenal.

  80. Mirabelle says:

    I forget which game it was, but the year was 1998 and I remember watching Bergkamp and being entranced. It was the first football match I saw without having to prop my eyelids with toothpicks to keep myself from nodding off. I admit, prior to this, I only pretended to like football because of a boy I was seeing.

    I lost interest in the boy (thank god!) but have followed Arsenal since. I knew for sure that it was love when I, hand on heart, could say that I preferred to see Ljungberg kitted in our red and white than shirtless/and in his CKs. ;)

  81. Big Raddy says:

    Top post. Brilliant comments.

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mirabelle,
    The Boy never stood a chance in a contest with our Freddie :-)

  83. RockyLives says:

    Mirabelle
    Another great story and another who fell in love with Arsenal via the intercession of God himself (Dennis).

    Where are you from?

  84. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Just to echo Rockys sentiments, this the best combination of article and comments i have ever read on this site. All credit to Micky and to all the overseas Gonners for posting there stories. I must admit i have always been a bit cynical when i think of supporters from far away lands. My impresions have always been a bit “Hey buddy, whats that Manchester Rovers team that play in blue and won the superbowl, ime supporting them dude” I now realise that my old views were rubbish and that i was completely wrong.

    What has struck me from the range of stories, is that in general choosing to support Arsenal is a choice. Most of us born over here didnt face that option. We tended to follow our families or communitys traditions. I mean, with bad luck i could easily have been “Ralph Coates Hair Transplant”, Rocky could have been “Hoddle lives”, and the author Micky maybe, “Ossies gonna do it again”. Choice shoes carachter and judgement, and reading some of the stories, sometimes luck. To all gooners across the world i say ‘God Bless’.

  85. jnyc says:

    Micky, i am lucky that in nyc we have such a diverse ethnic mix. This is great if you, like i do, enjoy spicey international cuisine, and . spicey, exotic women. But also have friends who are from Britain, europe, africa, south america. So i can find a few friends to chat about footballl. . Im the only gunner i know well, but its fun that way too. I must say a special thank you to rupert murdoch,( however unpopular ) and sky, because they are behind the fox soccer channels in the U S. Wall to wall coverage of premier and lower leagues. Also champions and europa leagues. Almost no U S. League soccer coverage of which i have little interest. I think its
    easier for me to see matches than anyone. In new york
    i also have a sports net that gets me arsenal 360 and
    arsenal world shows weekly, so i get some proper
    history of the club, aside from you guys.

    thank God for Fox.

  86. What a fantastic post. Fantastic comments too. I’m a gooner from Lambeth (technically overseas) I went to the chavs place a few times when they had osgood and bonetti. I didn’t like the experience at all. In 76 I matrried my first wife and her brothers basically told me to support Arsenal. I also had a lot of bad experiences with the dirty chav while I was a punk working in King’s Road. My sister also married a proper gooner so I got into it. I didn’t go to my first match until the 1 nil at old Trafford when adebayor scored. Only got to highbury once (Keown’s testimonial) but since then How the team does affects my moods in a ridiculous way.

    In Hanoi I saw a little Boy (I’ll put the picture up) in full Arsenal kit. I wonder why as Asia is full of mancs.

  87. Scott says:

    Sorry Micky,went off to bed before your comments were posted.
    Yes,that is the club.
    It’s actually had a few name changes since the beginning.
    Originally Glenquarie,but after a few years it was changed to Gunners Utd FC,as there was no actual suburb of Glenquarie…..it was a hybrid of Glenfield and Macquarie Fields.
    Next it was Campbelltown Gunners,then simply Gunners FC.
    I played football for them,then we started a cricket club and even a competition darts side both of which I played as well.
    I loved the place.
    Brett Emerton was a prodigy of the club.
    I still remember actually laying the grass on the 2 main fields and one mini field as a kid.
    The ground had the best grass surface and best lighting in the area.
    The club is located about 40 minutes south west of Sydney,where I’ve moved an hours north of Sydney.
    I’ve also ot a trophy laying aound somewhere as the 1986 clubman of the year.
    Aaaahhhh,memories.

  88. Scott says:

    Terry Mancini,
    I’m a regular on one or two forums,and early on was treated as someone who,being an Aussie,couldn’t really know much about the game and certainly not share others passion for the club.
    When I’d post updates during the games…..we get every single PL game live here….for those attempting to watch on the net,they realised I actually do get up for every single game.
    Also,I think a lot of fans maybe latched on to Arsenal during their heyday,but once again,when people realise did followed the club since 1977,attitudes changed.

  89. Scott says:

    Oh,and I’m coming over next year for one reason….a live game at The Emirates…..can’t wait.
    My 6 y.o. Son,Sean,is coming too.
    Sean is reading this as I type…..he’s a mad Gooner who can name the number of every player in the squad…..and told me to mention mummy is coming,too lol.

  90. Scott says:

    Off to work,but will catch you all later.

  91. RockyLives says:

    Great stuff Scott.
    Let the AA gang know when you’re coming over – there’s a regular pre-match pub meet-up.

  92. Gooner In Exile says:

    People get paid to write this twaddle.

    http://m.mirror.co.uk/article?id=848753/

  93. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one Scott, it will be a privlege to buy you a beer and your little boy a lemonade.

    I saw that this morning GM, i reccomend you put him on your hate list and send him one of your very nice messages. hahaha

  94. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Sorry GiE for a sec thought it was GM. I recomend you beat him up. hahaha

  95. Rasp says:

    I’d just like to echo everyone’s comments and thank Micky for a really excellent, witty and well written post – your best to date by my estimation :P – can we have more for the summer :oops:

    I hope some of those international gooners who were inspired to comment today will feel able to join us more often as there were some wonderful responses.

  96. oz gunner says:

    it is amazing isn’t it GiE. It’s all just complete guess work!
    Lets list all the richest clubs and link RVP with them, yeah that’ll work.

    Some great comments today. It seems god (dennis) has united a lot of people and shown them towards the light, the one true religion…Arsenal!

  97. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    Cracking post and some truly brilliant comments.

    Scott – Legend.

    Ahmed..”no.14 please”….lol

    Nigerian grandmothers…

    7am kick offs

    Pilgrimagges to Highbury/Emirates

    The international roll call…tremendous

  98. The mirror is total shite. glad I don’t buy or subscribe to any papers. Hope they all go skint

  99. Rasp says:

    Final tally……

    United Kingdom 8,810
    United States 3,015
    Australia 1,089
    Iceland 1,066
    Canada 728
    Malaysia 391
    India 329
    Kenya 282
    Ireland 278
    Singapore 266
    Norway 212
    Nigeria 212
    Indonesia 157
    Sweden 157
    South Africa 147
    Germany 126
    Poland 101
    Denmark 88
    Netherlands 87
    Uganda 84
    France 79
    Spain 70
    New Zealand 70
    Philippines 60
    Thailand 60
    Viet Nam 56
    Switzerland 55
    Egypt 55
    Hong Kong 53
    Finland 53
    Belgium 50
    Italy 45
    United Arab Emirates 43
    Turkey 42
    Ethiopia 40
    Pakistan 40
    Japan 38
    United Republic of Tanzania 38
    Israel 35
    Russian Federation 35
    Cyprus 33
    Serbia 33
    Malta 30
    Bosnia and Herzegovina 29
    Trinidad and Tobago 28
    Brazil 28
    Bulgaria 25
    Austria 24
    Jamaica 24
    Saudi Arabia 23
    Ghana 23
    Croatia 23
    Bahrain 22
    Zimbabwe 22
    Mauritius 22
    Hungary 19
    Greece 18
    Mexico 18
    Romania 17
    Macedonia 16
    Albania FlagAlbania 15
    Republic of Korea 15
    Lebanon 15
    Czech Republic 15
    Malawi 13
    Namibia 13
    Mongolia 13
    Nepal FlagNepal 11
    Botswana 11
    Senegal 10
    Georgia 10
    Slovenia 10
    Cayman Islands 9
    Chile 9
    Tunisia 8
    Luxembourg 8
    Slovakia 8
    Zambia 8
    Colombia 7
    Gambia 7
    Portugal 7
    Morocco 6
    Jordan 6
    Bangladesh 6
    Latvia 6
    Taiwan 5
    Brunei Darussalam 5
    Maldives 5
    Eritrea 5
    Ukraine 5
    Rwanda 4
    Argentina 4
    Azerbaijan 4
    Cuba 4
    Peru 4
    Mozambique 3
    Bermuda 3
    Qatar 3
    Lithuania 3
    Cambodia 3
    Moldova 3
    Estonia 3
    Guatemala 2
    Barbados 2
    Sierra Leone 2
    Algeria 2
    Ecuador 2
    Belarus 2
    Bhutan 2
    Montenegro 2
    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2
    Myanmar 2
    Swaziland 2
    Djibouti 2
    Kuwait 2
    Angola 1
    Guinea-Bissau 1
    Armenia 1
    Bolivia 1
    Faroe Islands 1
    Dominica 1
    Côte d’Ivoire 1
    Dominican Republic 1
    China 1
    Macao 1
    Venezuela 1
    Benin 1
    Sri Lanka 1
    Sudan 1
    Oman 1
    Saint Lucia 1
    Vanuatu 1

  100. RedMJ says:

    What a great idea for a post. Fantastic reading the stories of Gooners far and wide. I grew up in the flat lands of Lincolnshire (only about 100 miles from Highbury geographically but might as well have been on the other side of the moon in terms of life) and my first memory of Arsenal was Charlie George’s FA Cup winning goal and celebration in the Double winning year of ’71 – 8 years old and no idea what I had just let myself in for. A few years of travelling down on the coach with a few friends and a “responsible” 16 year old, being first at the North Bank gates and paying an insanely small amount of money (by today’s standards anyway) to get in and stand just above the moat all started the process of obsession, devotion and irrational hatred of all things N17. I also had a real lucky escape cos my first ever live game was actually at London Road, Peterborough so I could have been pals with Talkshites Adrian Durham – nah! Also had a frightening, funny and freaky experience in the North Bank v the whiteshite as a 14 year old, events which help cement the club into the heart but thats for another time. Great post Micky.

  101. Scott says:

    Terry/Rocky,I shall definitely be enjoying several pints whilst there,have no fear….I shall keep in touch.
    The wife’s family is Irish,so we will be based there,but I’m definitely bringing the boy over for a game or two.
    Bergkamp was just class personified,and a dream to watch.
    Of the current crop,I love Vermaelen and Kozzer…….I’m one of the few who loved Kozzer from day one,declaring he’d be a superstar with experience.
    Maybe that’s why people thought I was a dumb Aussie lol.
    His early form was hardly inspiring,but I always thought there was real class.
    In the old days…for me,at least,Brady and Rix were the two players I remember most.
    Keep in mind that back in the 70’s and 80’s,we’d get a one our highlights show the Friday after each round,so not a hell of a lot of games for us to see.
    Back in the old Gunners clubhouse I spoke of earlier,we’d have FA cup final night,as it was the one game of the season we’d get live.
    I’m getting nostalgic here,but you don’t even think about these things until the subject is raised so thanks AA and all involved……thank you for indulging me.

  102. glic says:

    Think you missed one off there Rasp !

    The Vatican 1

    Aparrantly the Pope prays to Dennis quite a few times a day !.

  103. Gooner In Exile says:

    Scott things weren’t much different here to be fair, you didn’t even see all the games on MotD…..how times have changed.

  104. The game at Anfield in 89 was live on ITV and free!

  105. RockyLives says:

    Come on Vanuatu Gunner – get your finger out and find another Vanuatu Arsenal supporter to join you here on AA :)

  106. BosnianHero says:

    Thierry Henry and Arsene Wenger

  107. Scott says:

    In Exile…..that amazes me.
    As I said,every single PL game is live if you have Foxel here.
    I can also watch every AFL (Aussie rules) game,NRL(rugby league) game,Spanish La Liga game,Some Bundesliga games,NFL,Baseball and Gridiron Games….,it’s endless.
    We may be far removed from the rest of the world,but it seems we are closer than those living a few miles from the round…incredible.

  108. LB says:

    What an amazing set of comments, clever stuff Micky.

  109. Neal says:

    Strange how we find that link to a team that becomes a passion for us all.
    I viisted a Chav (Chelsea) friend of mine who had been working in Malaysia with RAAF (oz Air force) and found a shop selling lots of reproduction shirts. I bought myself an away strip (circa 2000) and my mates 5 year old daughter a home team shirt without my mate knowing.
    To this day he has not forgiven me but she is a die hard supporter and loves sticking it to her old man whenever she can. :)

  110. VCC says:

    Micky….. You are now a legend.

    Fantastic post, such entertaining reading. Take a bow Son.

  111. Kevin says:

    Indian Gooner. It was love at first sight at the tender age of 10. I saw King Henry play and got mesmerised by the sheer brilliance and beauty of football. When Arsenal plays, it’s poetry in motion.

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn, nothing from Antarctica :-(
    Morning all.
    Any chance of an expensive signing this week?

  113. Rasp says:

    Morning Micky,

    I don’t think there’ll be much transfer activity until after the Euros now.

    Bad news that Jurgen Klopp (Dortmund) is favourite for the pool job – I think he’s a very good manager

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    I think you’re right. Sigh!

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Work calls.

  116. isa says:

    Dennis Bergkamp.1998. Isa, Malaysia

  117. Rasp says:

    Morning all……

    ….. New post…….

  118. Noobgooner says:

    Kenyan gooner. I have buddies who support manu chelsea pool arsenal. Somehow all of them were big talkers. The gooners however, were Cool, modest and always talked proper football. I wasnt looking for a trophy laden when deciding what team to follow. Whatever it was, i found it as a gooner. Something special about arsenal. I dont fancy hype,glamour and superstardom. Arsenal is great but modest. I like that.

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