May 1971 – A week in the life of a Veteran Gooner

Morning all, todays post is from guest writer dandan. It’s a really good read, we hope you enjoy it.

Monday 3rd May 1971.  Just one day in a 66 year long life. Five children, 10 grandchildren and a couple of wives ago. A working life, a happy life, a fulfilled life, yet in all that life, that day, that Monday 39 years ago stands out clearly, a milestone, a marker to excitement, expectation, pride and above all friendship, togetherness and achievement.

It began early, after working the morning and fidgeting away an hour of the afternoon it was time. I climbed into my car, picked up my mate, one of four of us that travelled to all Arsenal games together. The other two plus my brother were travelling in the Ford escort that was our real communal football vehicle. Our plan was simple we would meet up inside the ground.

We travelled the back doubles avoiding main roads, but it was soon abundantly clear that something was up; mid afternoon and even the side roads were busy. Eventually at about  4 o’ clock we found a road full of parked cars, with a police no parking cone at the end, quickly we parked the car with it’s front against the cone, jumped out, moved the cone to the back of the car and walked off.

White Hart Lane was where all my family’s loyalties lay, only I was the rebel, a gooner among all those spuds. We were on enemy territory, god and what a sight a queue of people 5 or 6 deep all round the ground and into the distance. We knew immediately, absolutely no chance to get in there by normal means. What to do? We headed for the front of the queue, passing thousands of people, hundreds of coppers. A plan was needed this was serious. Finally the main iron gates into the ground were reached, luckily they were still closed, 50 yards beyond them the turnstiles stood mockingly empty, inviting, waiting for the hordes in the endless queue. A line of police stood turning away anyone trying to join the queue.

Right by the main gate stands the White Hart Pub from which the ground gets its name. It was open, we went in and got a couple of half’s (part of the plan –  couldn’t waste money) and then stood outside casually leaning against the pub wall right by the gates, sipping our beers. At 5.30 the gates are unlocked and pulled open inwards. Immediately the people at the front of the queue, who have waited there overnight, rush forward scattering the line of police. We drop our glasses literally, join the rush, and sprint to the turnstiles, pay our money and we are through and in. We must have been two of the first 50 in the ground, as the man says don’t you love it when a plan comes together.

Not only are we in the ground, but also in the enclosure, people were pouring in. We felt desperate for our mates, knowing they had no chance of getting in as they had intended leaving work a bit later.

Then amazingly there they were, pushing through the crowd to join us, I had reckoned they’d be without my brother, a spud, although he knew this ground like the back of his hand.  In those days there was a press gate in one of the side roads, he was a regular there, a few quid in the attendants hand and he and they were through. 52,000 thousand locked out and we had all made it. They had just abandoned the car in a traffic jam, if it got towed, tough. It wasn’t they found it after the match and drove home.

The game was a blur with chances at either end, gradually we got on top, a 0 – 0 draw would be enough to win the league. Then with 3 minutes to go, Geordie Armstrong centered, Ray Kennedy leaped and headed home. Pandemonium, the stadium muted with tension till then, erupted. White Hart became Red and White Hart, every Spud seemed to disappear under a sea of scarves, hats and frantic, cheering, hugging, jumping Gooners.  The Spurs team went berserk kicking all and sundry the intention seeming to be that we would not field a full team in Saturdays cup final to take their ‘double’ record away. The referee saw what was happening and sensibly blew the whistle early. Where and how all the spuds disappeared to has puzzled me over the years, but the stadium from the moment the goal went in belonged to The Arsenal.

We left deliriously happy, found the car. No ticket, moved the cone and moved off listening to the radio singing and laughing. The normal 1hr journey home took 2 hrs but we never really noticed, what a day, what a night and the cup final still to come just 5 days away.

I had intended to end this post right there, with the championship won and the first leg of the 1971 double secured. But the act of writing it down after all these years, set me to thinking just how immense the events surrounding The Arsenal of the double year and that week in particular were in my life. Enlightening me above all to the importance of friendship and loyalty in a changing world.

First some background, as I said earlier I came from a family of Spuds, my earliest football memories are of being taken to WHL by my father (I saw Stanley Mathews play there, for Stoke I think) and the cup finals on TV. In those far off days the Cup Final was the only game live on TV, although before that you could see short highlights of it on Pathe News at Saturday morning cinema.

We then moved from London to Hertfordshire about a mile from what is now Beckingham Palace the home of David and Posh. So a trip into London for a carless family was an expensive undertaking and not taken often. For this reason as we got older the annual BBC Cup Final broadcast became a big event in our house. My 2 mates from school both Gooners would come along together with a gaggle of friends and family of the Spud variety.

Mum would move back and forth recharging cups and glasses and topping up the buffet she had provided, whilst we huddled around the TV. Then came the 1961 final when Dads dreams came true and Spurs did the double and the family partied long into the night. Us three Gooners of course the butt of every joke going. We were 17 at the time, apprentices or trainees, just able to afford to go to the home games at Highbury by train. Later I got a car and all games became available. But always the Cup Final at my parents home for my mates and I was mandatory.

Fast forward to 1971 double year, my parents have moved to Southampton, as Dads progression through the company required him to relocate. Then a week before Christmas the world changed, whilst travelling the dual carriageway that predated the M3 my dad’s car was hit by a lorry that came through the trees that lined the central reservation, he and his passenger died instantly.

I was devastated, my Dad and great mate gone. But my three Arsenal mates took over and made sure that I was accompanied to every Arsenal game that season and as they moved inexorably towards the double the sadness and realisation of the leg pulling and verbal I was missing with Dad grew.

Came that final week in May, Spurs on the Monday a euphoric, poignant day safely negotiated. Now because we had saved our programme vouchers, we also had our cup final tickets. But as the five days past I realised that I could not go to Wembley leaving my Mum alone down in Southampton, I needed to go and watch it with her. I gave my ticket to my mates and told them to give them to a Arsenal fan outside the ground.

They said nothing until Friday, our snooker night, when we met up they dropped the bombshell, they too had given their tickets away, and the faithful Escort all ballooned and ribboned up was parked outside and  bound for Southampton in the morning.

Needless to say it was a marvelous day tinged with sadness of course, Liverpool were overcome. Willow missed one on  the near post, Charlie lay on his back and waited his adulation, GG claimed a goal he never touched, whilst Eddy the real scorer couldn’t give a monkeys at the time, Frank at the final whistle, told the world we had xxxxxxx done it. Whilst we in the smart bungalow in Southampton watched it all on the big new colour Television that Dad had brought for my mum just 6 months previously.

It helped a lovely lady start to come to terms with her loss, but it taught me the meaning of true friends, enriching my life beyond belief and now all these years later as retirees, we still meet and greet and talk about our Arsenal days.

So I owe the Arsenal a great deal. Remarkably just that one word conjures up memories, of triumphs and disasters, but most of all it reminds me, that a common interest cemented four young men into lifetime friends.

Finally, may I say, as a newcomer, that as I read your posts, I sense that same feeling of comradeship, and respect for each other. Great game football, great club the Arsenal.

By dandan

158 Responses to May 1971 – A week in the life of a Veteran Gooner

  1. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, deeply personal stuff there Dandan – I hope to also have more Championship winning memories for fast approaching old age too.
    Peachy – my lengthy ManUre rant may have to wait till the close season, I would deeply like the next 2 or so months to make us so occupied with our current results we won’t have time to reflect on other things. Porto looks like it could be a tricky match – Tim is going to that one(BTW he put a link up in his match report for this blog)

  2. Hi chary – I’d better return the compliment to Tim.

    Are you going tomorrow?

  3. charybdis1966 says:

    It was mentioned here Peachy, in the second paragraph. Sadly I’m not going tomorrow night – I couldn’t negotiate a second day pass within 4 days !

  4. tommystout says:

    Good Morning all…
    That was truly moving piece Dandan, Thankyou

  5. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    You’ve got a very good memory dandan. I don’t see Charlie in the photo though 😦

  6. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Actually dandan, it was the moment, I spose, when Charlie put the ball in the back of the net that I became an Arsenal supporter.

  7. Morning/Evening gnarley – how are you?

  8. You’re right gnarley – no Charlie in the pic – how did that happen, I’ll have a check……..

  9. kelsey says:

    Dandan that was wonderful and I am sure it brought back emotions of joy and sadness.

    I was also there that Monday night and was fortunate to have a ticket and subsequently went to the Final as well.

    People of our age group can only truly relate to that week if one witnessed it.We had been in Spurs shadow during the early sixties, had the humilation of losing to Luton and then Swindon(a third division team)and the signs were there that we would win something the year before when we won the Fairs Cup, and the guy sitting two seats away from me had a heart attack when the third goal went in against Anderlecht.

    Every age group has its favorite Arsenal moments ,but like you that was a pivitol week.

  10. London says:

    Morning all

    What a day, what a night, what a superb and equally moving read. Great stuff DanDan. It is such a privilege that you visit this site.

  11. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Evening peaches

  12. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    Superb post dandan, quite unlike anything I’ve read on a blog before. Only other fans will understand the emotion and camaraderie you describe.

  13. Brigham says:

    Great article and made me quite emotional in parts as I can relate to it in many ways, even though I was only 11 at the time.

    Charybdis1966, I am assuming you are ex Royal Navy as not many people know of that name. I served on the Cherry B (F75) 1978-1979.

  14. London says:

    Surely that picture is wrong, I seem to recollect that Marinello arrived after the double year.

  15. morning rasp – have you got another picture tucked away somewhere? I’ve had a look and I can’t see one.

  16. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Here peaches, this is quite relevant

  17. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    or this

  18. kelsey says:

    Peter marinello joined us in 1970 but though he played a few times he was dropped and did not feature in the two matches above.

  19. London says:

    Ahh that’s better gnarley.

  20. Rasputin says:

    Thanks gg, the pic is in. I’ll save the second for another occassion.

  21. Livers says:

    Morning all..

  22. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Glad to be of service 🙂

  23. Rasputin says:

    OK, I’ve bowed to pressure – both of gg’s pics are in now 😉

    morning Livers

  24. The more I think about saturdays game the more I feel the team have really clicked at last. I think that Eboue and Theo are a great combination on the right and even with Cesc going off, Nasri and Rosicky stepped in to take control of creating our beautiful game.

    Will we be able to keep a clean sheet tomorrow?

  25. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    How are you all with Emanuel “Pass Master” Eboue @ the moment. I reckon Bac Sag might be in a bit of trouble to hold his spot IMHO. How about the little signature back pass to Cesc, etc 🙂

  26. kelsey says:

    Some of you guys attend the games, and we can only play with the players available.When AW spoke about Ramsey if he would ever recover mentally,I thought he was talking about Eduardo.I have doubts about him ever being the force we thought he would bbe,even allowing for little niggles since his long lay off.Anyone agree.

  27. Rasputin says:

    I think you are right gg and kelsey. EE is now first choice RB by merit – particularly if Theo is playing, and I said the same thing yesterday kelsey that AW’s remark was more about Dudu than Ramsey.

  28. I agree about Eduardo kelsey – hes not the player he was by a long stretch. Hes certainly lost some pace and doesn’t seem to get into good positions or go for any balls in the area.

  29. London says:


    For me Sagna remains the better defender and I fully expect him to start tomorrow.

    My guess at tomorrow’s team would be:


    Although, I would not be surprised to see Gallas return and if Fabregas is injured then I expect Nasri will take his place.

  30. Eboue compliments Theo much better than Sagna – of course they could both be off on mazey runs and leave the back door wide open – nah Sol would never let that happen 😆

  31. Rasputin says:

    Hi Brigham,

    Thanks for your comment and welcome aboard! Yes, dandan’s article brought a tear to my eye I’m not ashamed to admit.

  32. Wow thats a good team London and Nasri and Rosexy on the bench …………

  33. London says:

    Morning Peaches

    Yes, it is odd that we could actually field a team with both Nasri and Rosicky on the bench.

  34. tommystout says:

    Hi London
    Nice team, i think nasri will start for fabregas tho…
    go super nick, stick it to ’em!

  35. London says:

    Morning tommy

    Are you lucky enough to be going tomorrow?

  36. gnarley – Eboue is still full of surprises isn’t he. He’s really skillful with the ball at his feet and has the confidence to try some pretty audacious stuff. I trust him now whereas earlier in the season his ‘dramas’ were so annoying. He played a ‘drama’ free game on Saturday and deserves a lot of credit for that.

    Apparently he went onto the crowd after the game and gave someone his shirt.

  37. Tony Cascarino has removed himself from Theo’s back and planted himself on Nikki’s now – ‘he’s not as good as he thinks he is’.

    Nikki – you are as good as you think you are – just finish a couple of those well crafted chances and he’ll have to eat his words.

  38. tommystout says:

    Hi London , no i’m not going, as a yorkshire gooner with young family….. impossible.
    but no doubt i will be striding about in front of the TV with my bag of nerves as per usual!
    One day i would like to become an emirates regular as i was at highbury and then meet some of you guys on game day over a beer or two.
    Hopefully my sons will be ready by then for the ups and downs of being a gooner!

  39. Livers says:

    London, that’s pretty much the team I’d pick. But seriously if Fabregas is only 80% I’d stick him on the bench and have Nasri there. I think we’ll have enough about us to win without Fabregas and my fear is like the Villa game, come on and miss 3 weeks

  40. tommystout says:

    hi peaches, i for one love super niks confidence, i’m convinced he will be better than drogba soon enuff.
    cascarino is another annoying pundit who is not worth his air time… come to think of it who is worth listening to on the radio these days.??? parlour yes, groves yes…. hmmmm

  41. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Brigham, I feel a bit embarrassed to admit my connection to Charybdis is nowhere near as noble as you suggest. I just lifted it from a minor character in my favourite TV series of my childhood. I recall there was a sister ship to yours called the Scylla ? In keeping with the nautical tone of this post, “Welcome aboard”

  42. tommystout says:

    Hi Chary, thats funny, no doubt there are plenty of stories around peoples handles on here!

  43. Brigham says:

    Peaches, he did indeed and it was to a young girl or boy in the corner of north bank, next to the corner flag. Crowd kept singing the “Emanual Eboue” song for ages and he lapped it up. He come on leaps and bounds this season IMHO.

    I love the way he drives forward and defenders really hate people running at them in that fashion. Long may he continue to do it.

    I shall be there tomorrow evening in block 104 as normal.

  44. charybdis1966 says:

    Yeah TommyS – I’ve been on a number of forums on a range of topics but kept this handle for some reason. My only military connection is an Uncle who fought against the Chinese in Burma in WW2. He’s in his mid 80’s now.

  45. nice piece dandan.

    the funny thing is… if you look at that squad photo from the 70/71 double season… half of them look a good few pounds over a decent fighting weight.

    i truly believe a good modern side team, incorporating all the modern sports science and fitness regimes, would murder a side from that generation.


  46. Brigham says:

    Thanks for the welcomes all. Not to worry ‘Cherry B’ and yes Scylla one of her sister ships along with Jupiter. 🙂

  47. tommystout says:

    hi brigham, on saturday i was watching the game by a stream, what was the atmospher like mate, its seemed quiet but that may have been the quality of the stream!

  48. tommystout says:

    SFhawke, controversial or not i think you are right on that one!

  49. I am expecting kelsey/BR/ or dandan to put up a spirited defence


  50. Brigham says:

    It was a bit quiet tommy, although it did liven up a bit once we scored the first. Strange sort of atmosphere tbh and we never really got going song wise at all.

  51. kelsey says:

    Talking about weight, I read a few blogs this morning that said Arshavin is gaining weight.

    Also to be contraversial, Pavuchenko couldn’t get a look in at Spurs, and now he is playing regularly.trouble is Harry wanted 13 million for him, I personally think that was a bit too much, but he is an old fashioned striker that could have fitted in well.

    Also Vela is not in the boss’s immediate plans, and remember two years at lowly Osasuna hasn’t helped him much, together with his long haul flights playing for Mexico where he regularly starts. Will he ever get his chance ?

  52. charybdis1966 says:

    Tommys, I was there on Saturday and the atmosphere started off reverentially in respect of singing Rambo’s name. It got a little quiet up till the time we scored and of course after the equaliser the tension came back. Understandably once Theo scored it improved and, as punishment for early leavers, the outpouring of relief when the Meerkat scored was almost worth the preceding tension.
    I must say I felt humbled to witness the crowd’s reaction to Bendy – yes, he missed a hatful but because he didn’t hide, he made himself available he got into plenty of goal scoring positions and didn’t stop trying (reminded me of the “look at Dixon, he’s having a mare but he still wants the ball” speech GG gave to the squad once) the crowd got behind him despite some of the groans. Don’t believe the crap about only northern crowds being knowledgeable enough to get behind their players in situations like that.
    Granted the Grove has its fair share of tourists on match day, but we are every bit diehard supporters as any of the other northern clubs the media like to salivate over.

  53. kelsey says:

    chary, don’t you think that as we have only ever scored once this season in the first 15 minutes, that the crowd are on tenderhooks from the moment the whistle blows and time and time again they get frustrated that we can’t put away so many early chances.This has an effect on some of being extremely nervous and that in turn creates tension.

  54. I agree about the stadium being a bit quiet – I was expecting a veritable non-stop homage to Aaron Ramsey. We really are a very polite set of fans and how have we not got a song for Cesc????? Even after he scored on Saturday there wasn’t a rendition of ‘We’ve got Cesc Fabregas’

    Eboue does get a fair amount of singing to him and of course once Theo turned into the tiger there was a lot of chanting for him

  55. charybdis1966 says:

    That’s a tricky one Kelsey, whether not creating chances at all (and being on the back-foot defensively) is worse than creating plenty of chances but squandering them in terms of creating tension. On some games I just “felt” a goal would come, like against Bolton, once we pulled it back to 2-1 the crowd just “knew” more goals would follow.
    However I do wish people would not groan so loudly –or even jeer – if a pass doesn’t come off or a shot gets scuffed. I’m sure this transmits itself to the players and of course that can’t help.

  56. kelsey says:

    off subject, there is a lot of talk about the footballer of the year.Rooney is number 1 candidate.

    surely the people who matter most are the fans,who seem to be the last to be considered in most cases.Fans of the year must be the Pompey contingent, who have had a roller coaster ride these least few seasons, and now facing adminstration and near certain relegation, yet they find themselves only one game away from two F.A.Cup finals in two years.It is scandalous what has been going on at that club, and there appears to be some 50 million+ missing.Regardless the fans give their utmost support week in and week out, and put many other PL fans to shame..Avram Grant has conducted himself admirably,as he did at Chelsea and it really isn’t deserved that the club has been so mismanaged in recent times.A full investigation should be warranted.

    At least we run our club within our means.

  57. charybdis1966 says:

    Peachy – we did hear that at my end when Cesc scored. Of course I joined in, my shouting aided by the pre match peroni’s.

  58. Brigham says:

    I am another who thought Nick was well supported following his inability to score such easy chances. He acknowledged the support after his fifth miss by applauding the crowd back, with his hands above his head. Good to see that we have learned from that awful booing Eboue got last season.

    Support the players, at all times, even if they are having a bit of a howler. 😉

  59. kelsey says:

    At highbury on a good day or season we had a full house of 38000 mainly die hard fans.Now we have an extra 22000,corporate facilities have increased, people appear to leave earlier etc, so maybe they are floaters who just come to see the magnificant stadium, more tourists and usually exciting fluid football without having a real allegance to the team.

    I may be way off the mark as I have never been to the Emirates.

  60. charybdis1966 says:

    Peachy, when we went 2-1 up I got the very tasty girl next to me to join in the “Who are you?” ‘s directed at the nearby Burnley crowd, albeit she did it her own girly way.

  61. I’m surprised that by now the singing section – Red Action group – hasn’t been duplicated in other areas of the ground. I sit in the adjacent corner to the right of Arsène and often look over at them for a bit of spirited inspiration – sometimes they are very quiet too.

  62. charybdis1966 says:

    Actually I noticed something else a bit heart warming, about 20 minutes into the game a few rozzers approached the row one of the singing ringleaders, as you could call them, was suiting in, presumably to eject him. However I heard a few people shout out “Leave him alone” and “He’s only supporting the team!” and his was left alone.
    I know it’s only a small victory but call me an old sentimentalist I like it when little things like that happen.

  63. tommystout says:

    the dude with microphone in euro matches who directs the crowd, could that system not be tried at the emirates….
    Peaches – i agree red action should be in each section, get the old rivalry of we’re east end highbury, northbank highbury going again..
    thought those red action guys had to sing.

  64. Rasputin says:

    I can’t understand why we don’t have any songs for Cesc except ‘we’ve got’. There are some really good spanish tunes – what about something to ‘eh viva espana’, or is that too cheesy?

  65. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Raspers, good to meet you on Saturday but you’re right we don’t have many good songs/chants. They have t be simple to catch on, but there just don’t seem to have found a good one for Cesc.

  66. Rasputin says:

    Hi chary,

    Nice to meet you too and your american friend 😉 . I guess the club are trying to address the problem with the ‘arsenalisation’. I am told that the stewards can be a bit over-zealous but have never witnessed it myself particularly. Giving the stands back their old names is a good idea.

    I think the club missed a trick on saturday. The tee shirts supporting Ramsey the players were wearing when they came on, should have been available to buy in the stadium – they’d have sold thousands for £10 (they could only cost £3-4 to produce) and could have given the money to charity perhaps.

  67. charybdis1966 says:

    Spot on there Raspers, I was trying to get a Rambo poster for a work friend as he is her son ‘s favourite player. The demand for Rambo related things was definitely there and the fact the only posters on sale at the Armoury were a choice of Cesc, Theo, Bendy & a team poster did seem a little odd.
    Tim ,the american guy, is a diehard goon – he writes around 2 blogs a day, every day on his own – now that’s dedication.

  68. Alfa says:

    Dandan, fabulous, moving post and brought back so many memories. For me it was watching the Cup Final a few days later on our little black and white telly, feeling so glad I’d told all my classmates I was an Arsenal fan when I started school a couple of years earlier, having endured a year of taunting from my mainly Chelsea classmates.

    At 8 I assumed that you could do the double every year – actually on that score supporting Arsenal turned out to be a good move.

    If anyone has been inspired by Dandan’s recollections and wants to find out a bit more, you can take a look at the Arsenal Arsenal book and DVD shop at the top of this page. We have highlighted plenty of books from the greats of that time and a DVD of the ’71 FA Cup Final. Can’t find a DVD of the league winning game against the Spuds yet but suggestions welcome.

  69. Alfa says:

    Re the noise at the Emirates, I think it just takes a bit to get us going. Most weeks it is sporadic – not that people are indifferent, just that to get all 60,000 singing takes a lot. It’s got nothing to do with corporate memberships etc. IMHO, the club tier is not big enough to make a difference.

    At times against Man U, the Spuds and the Chavs over the last few years the noise has been literally deafening (ie ringing in my ears afterwards).

    Sometimes we get goaded by the opposition fans, especially Bolton, Stoke and Aston Villa seem pretty loud.

    I think we are missing a proper song to go with the chants. I mean, who is ever going to sing The Wonder of You at any point during a match, like You’ll Never Walk Alone?

    As for people leaving early, we normally stay but the transport is so dire that watching 5 minutes of injury time can double the length of the journey home. What happened to the redevelopment of Drayton Park?

  70. Livers says:

    The leaving early part… hmm… I hate it, I can understand it sometimes in a mid-week game but not 3pm sat afternoon..

  71. tommystout says:

    casc is definatelt out so :-


  72. Livers says:

    No Walcott Tommy ?

  73. dandan says:

    Afternoon all,

    Thank you for your kind comments, I was concerned that it was to personal, but in truth it was your superb collective blog and the friendship that it radiates, that induced me to write it.

    Next time I will try to be more dispassionate

    This week strangely has the potential to be dramatic too, I have already voiced my unease at the tactics the rent-a-tan Fat Sam Acolyte might employ on Saturday, particularly should he suspect that Fab is carrying an injury. My overriding worry is that we may see a team over reaction from the boys who seem to me to be on a hair trigger, witness the Theo incident last Sat, with sending offs, the likely result.

    The CL I think will be more straightforward, as a general rule the foreign refs let us play our football and I honestly believe, that we are a match for all in that dept (though a pairing with Barca would be Mega) lets hope it is the final.

  74. charybdis1966 says:

    Alfa – as far as I understand it, Red Ken reneged on that part of the promise, in return for guaranteeing a proportion of affordable housing within the redevelopment of the area we were promised transport upgrades. Drayton Park was supposed to be part of this upgrade, I suppose you could say Red Ken acted like a Spud.
    Livers – once or twice I left early, the last time being the 2007-08 season but my tactic now is to go for a drink/meal nearby after clapping the players off and wait an hour before I try the trains. Obviously it doesn’t work so well on weekday 7.45pm kick offs, you just have to queue up and resign yourself to net getting home before midnight.

  75. tommystout says:

    Livers… no Walcott?
    tough one but i think rosicky is playing really well at the moment, maybe walcott might be better for this one from the bench when they are tired!
    I think Rosicky is better for the tackle too!

  76. charybdis1966 says:

    As it’s now been confirmed Cesc is out of tomorrows game my line up would be:

    Tapa Waiter
    Sagna Campbell Verminator Clichy
    Diaby Song Nasri
    Theo Bendy Arshavin

    With any luck Denilson will stay on the bench, but I’d bring Eboue on if we’re in need of goals late on.

  77. Hi dandan – good to see you pop in and take the accolades.

    Hull got fairly schmeist yesterday so maybe they’ll want to play football instead of kickfootballer. Their place has been one of the hardest for the top to go and get a result so it will be interesting.

  78. Is Campbell definitely fit for tomorrow?

  79. tommystout says:

    ive not heard anything about campbell, i’d assume if he was unavailable it would have made the headlines.

  80. tommystout says:

    however he was in training today!

  81. Rasputin says:

    Hi dandan,

    Thanks for sharing such a personal insight with us – it was that perspective that made it all the more moving and inspiring.

  82. Rasputin says:

    Tommy – have you got spies at the training ground or are you using Google Earth? 😛

  83. Big Raddy says:

    Dandan. That was a super read and thank you. It is a privilege to read such a heartfelt post.

    Of course football to us poor folk who have the disease is a very emotional thing. It binds us as no other subject can. I have walked into bars all over the world in my AFC shirt, and met thousands of fans who want to talk the common language of football.

    SH. I think todays team would annihalate the 70’s team. But if they had the same diet and coaching and fitness levels, it would be a close run thing. But we have the best players from all over the world, whereas the 70’s team were GG all Brits

  84. charybdis1966 says:

    It’s also confirmed Gallas is out for the Hull game too, so we have to hope Sol can manage 2 consecutive games. I’d hate to have to think of Fish head playing next Saturday.

  85. kelsey says:

    I think it’s really hard to call who will start tomorrow. cesc is definately out and campbell according to reports will be available(whatever that means).
    Nasri really played well on Saturday and he is definately better in home matches.
    Can Rosicky play 3 times in a week ? Will Eduardo start ? Will even Theo start.?

    My team would be

    Almunia, Sagna,Campbell Vermaelen,Clichy,Diaby,Song,Eboue/Walcott,Nasri,Bedntner,Arshavin/Rosicky.

  86. kelsey says:

    Yes Raddy and they didn’t wear ballet shoes and kick a baloon 😉

  87. Rasputin says:

    I’ve just looked at the second pic in dandan’s post and seen that the official programme was 10p – has inflation really multiplied prices by a factor of 30 – or are we getting fleeced?

  88. London says:

    It’s funny how they don’t sell as many as they used to.

  89. Big Raddy says:

    What do you think Rasp. And note that is a Wembley Commemorative Programme not an AFC which were cheaper.

  90. Big Raddy says:

    I guess most people have lost the habit of buying reading matter. Sales of newspapers are way down

  91. Alfa says:

    Chary, thanks for explaining about the transport development, will dig into that further because it really winds me up how we are all treated differently as football fans than if we were travelling for any other reason.

    As for the cost of the programme, 10p in 1971 would be £1.14 in today’s money according to This is Money website. On the other hand the ‘match day magazine’ has got a lot more in it. But on balance, I think it is a bit of a rip off.

    Anyone know the price of a season ticket then? I bet it wasn’t £100, which is about the equivalent cost compared to today’s.

  92. Rasputin says:

    SH, if you’re around, it seems your interpretation of Theo’s goal celebration was nearer to the truth than mine….

    …….For his goal, Walcott celebrated by running to the Arsenal bench pointing at an imaginary watch.

    “On Friday night I was late for the bus so I had to get a car to the team hotel,” explained Walcott. “That’s why I was pointing to a watch. I got caught in traffic. I will probably get a fine but I’ll take it!”

  93. Alfa says:

    BR, good point about today’s team vs. then. Then again, in the early 70’s quite a few of the best players in the world were British 😦 These days some of them just think they are.

  94. Big Raddy says:

    LOL Alfa. No argument there.

    May I recommend “It’s up for Grabs now” podcast? A little irreverant but very funny nonetheless. And these boys really know their Arsenal.

  95. dandan says:

    I read all the papers online every morning

  96. Big Raddy says:

    ALfa. Much as I hate to say this, the general world opinion is that many of this England team are World Class.

    Terry has won best defender in the World TWICE ! and Fat Frank has won Best Midfielder.

    Stevie G is also hugely esteemed. As is Rio, Ashley and of course “Our” Wayne.

    All of them would get into most if not all the National teams (maybe not Spain)

  97. Big Raddy says:

    So do I Dandan, but it is a long time since I bought one

  98. dandan says:

    Programmes were a joke back then, once a month we got the FA colour magazine in the middle, but apart from that hardly anything, Marketing was a rude word for football clubs, for years Arsenal would have no Adverts around the pitch.

  99. Big Raddy says:

    Charles Buchans Football Monthly 🙂

  100. dandan says:

    And of course we were entertained, B4 the game and at half time by the police band.

    I had a young cousin who was a bit of a handfull, i decided to take him to Highbury for a change, thought it might help, we climbed up to our place in the West Stand the floodlite pitch looking superb for a change, his comment Bloody Hell the Fuzz singing, I gave up.

  101. Franchise says:

    hello guys

  102. Big Raddy says:

    And the Marching Band.

    The half time scores being put up on boards in the corners. A=2-0. B= 1-1 etc etc.
    and having to look up which game was A in the programme. The peanut sellers.

  103. Big Raddy says:

    Evenoing Franchise. Hpe all is well with you.

    Think we will win tomorrow without WG and CF?. The Captain’s curse strikes again!

  104. Rasputin says:

    Hi Franchise – have you been doing battle? 😉

  105. Franchise says:

    Raddy we really seem to be cursed at the moment

    I hope we will. HOPE is my word of the month

    Hello Rasputin… no battles though Im dressed in fatigues, khakis and boots. Im just on watch

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Fran. Did you go on Saturday? Was the cheering of Nik ironic or heartfelt?

  107. Franchise says:

    Big R it was heartfelt, they were trying to encourage him

    there are misses that make you go ummmmmm but after the ummmmms the fans cheered him on in encouragement.

    i sit behind the goal we attack in the 2nd half that is where red action are. from my judgement they were trying to give him some confidence

  108. Mayank says:

    Great post Dandan, really well written.

    This is funny, One of the commenters calls the media anti-United!

    Can’t wait for tomorrow’s match, I think it’s going to be very exciting, closer than most people think…

  109. London says:

    It was heartfelt, no doubt about it. Bendtner is the perfect example of how strikers need time to grow into being a number 9. He will get there but he is just not quite there yet. Tomorrow he will be presented with a chance that he doesn’t have time to think about and he will instinctively just put it into the back of the net.

  110. Hey Fran – I saved you a great seat on Saturday – what happened 😉

  111. kelsey says:

    And the matchday programme were printed about a week before so the announcer would give all the changes just before kick off and people were hurrying around looking for a pen.

    Do you remember the pink classified Evening Standard

    Alfa the season ticket in the West Stand in 1971 was 78.00 including coupons.

  112. London says:


    What made you chose the west stand rather than the east?

  113. Big Raddy says:

    London. Because he is lardy dah 🙂

  114. kelsey says:


    I didn’t actually chose the West Stand. I was on the waiting list or I would buy a ticket from Fat Stan Flashman the infamous ticket tout.
    I had a mate slightly older who went with his dad every week,and his Dad was killed in a robbery and sometime later he asked me if I would like his ticket.

  115. London says:

    Thanks Kelsey

    That is a far more interesting story than simply saying that you prefered the view.

  116. kelsey says:

    Just in via BBC website :

    Arsenal (from): Almunia, Clichy, Vermaelen, Campbell, Eboue, Denilson, Nasri, Song, Walcott, Arshavin, Bendtner, Fabianski, Sagna, Diaby, Eduardo, Traore, Eastmond, Silvestre, Vela.

  117. dandan says:

    And who remembers the Beverley sisters three in a Row LOL

  118. kelsey says:

    Wasn’t the eldest married to Billy Wright.

  119. kelsey says:

    Maybe we should make Monday, Nostalgia Night every week. 😉

  120. kelsey says:

    dandan, you need an avartar preferably in Black and White. Age before beauty and all that 🙂

  121. dandan says:

    Stan Flashman, Kelsey, now there’s a name, his mate Barry Fry is still mucking about with Peterborough Utd.
    I wonder would Arsene be using Barnet if those two were still there.,

  122. dandan – do you want me to help you get an avatar?

    kelsey – you must be feeling better 😆

    The Beverley Sisters are still alive and well I saw them in Brent X not long ago – the twins that is

  123. dandan says:

    Yes Joy was married to Billy, they used to sit in Red and white outfits at the front of the directors box

  124. dandan says:

    Yes Please peaches, Could you manage Geordie Armstrong he was always my favourite

  125. ok dandan – I have to cook but I’ll be in touch

  126. Big Raddy says:

    I went to Stan Flashmans office/flat (I think t was in Kings Cross) a few times to get tickets for people. It was a scary place with nasty chaps at the door. He was an odious fat fella, and I felt I need a bath each time I left the office. Ugh….

    Whereas Barry Fry …… I had a season ticket at Barnet as well as THOF, and Mr Fry was a what the Americans call a “stand up guy”.

  127. Franchise says:

    Peaches I only saw your txt 2mins b4 2nd half hence the no-show

  128. dandan says:

    Chris Waddle is going to comment on Theo on 5 live in a few minutes

  129. Alfa says:

    Dandan, peaches, I used to 2 doors up from the Beverley sisters in the 70’s in Barnet. Billy Wright lived a few streets away as well.

    Stories about Fat Stan are still probably too hot to tell in public. Suffice to say if he was in charge at Arsenal the attendance would be announced as 20,000 every match not 60,000.

  130. Big Raddy says:

    Just watched the Dippers. Bereft of ideas, tactically inept, a €20m waste of money sub Aquilani and an ageing Gerrard. Just pump the ball up & hope that Torres scores.

    If Torres has any ambition he should head South to THOF, he would be fantastic playing in our team.

    Benitez must go in summer because there is no way the Dippers will get 4th,

  131. Chaf says:

    Evening All

    Dandan, what a great post, it attempted to bring back memories of that day for me, but all I remember is that I bunked off school, got in, Park Lane, and then got nicked for being one of the first kids on the pitch at the end. I managed to squirm free and mingled with some players…
    I will attempt to write the story of my marriage one day, I married into a Spurs family, on 27th May 1989, the day after Anfield, and my reception was at Martin Chivers Hotel, where he was the toast master. At least one good thing happened that weekend…

  132. Chaf says:

    By the way, a good friend of mine from school, who I had been through thick and thin with, missed the wedding because he was too drunk from the night before, didn’t he London….

  133. Tut tut London ………..

    Sounds like a great story chaf……start writing please

  134. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    Agreed re the Poo. They looked horrid up front.

  135. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I was actually hoping, that the poo would win, coz we want them up & about & still with a chance to get 4th, when they play manure soon.

  136. Evo in Oz says:

    greetings all, big game in the morn!

  137. London says:

    Morning Evo & gg

    I was thinking the same gg, rather than hoping that the dippers suffer a serious injury which is my usual stance when watching them play I found myself thinking, come on can’t you do better than that. They were rubbish really, really bad and as you say we need them in better shape for their game against manu.

  138. Big Raddy says:

    Hi Evo. Nice to see you.

    GG. The Dippers will have to really fight now for 4th – and pride. But going to Wigan and playing with 2 DM’s, shows the manager is running scared. Maxi is another in a long line of anonymous wide men bought by Benitez – apart from the extremely fortuitous year when they won the CL, Benitez has been an extremely expensive waste of space.

    Good !!

  139. Big Raddy says:

    Morning London.

    Great story Chaf.

  140. London says:

    Seems like I will be wearing the red and white hair vest again tonight.

    By the way Chaf are you going tonight, I heard rumours that Keith can’t make it.

    Morning BR

    I was shocked at just how bad the dippers were last night.

  141. Raddy – r u there?

  142. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    What is the theme of the new post as I have something to say about tonight’s game.

  143. Big Raddy says:

    I am now Peaches

  144. Do you know how to get to your post and preview it – see what it looks like in its real form? There’s clever headline we could use – what d’you think? Have a look

  145. kelsey says:

    Is this the Barnet and Highgate Express, under the guise of Arsenal Arsenal.

  146. Big Raddy says:

    Love it Peaches….. Publish and be damned!!

  147. Morning kelsey – the new post will go up in about 20 minutes – can you wait till then? If not I’ll move it for you……..

  148. London says:

    Ooooo to be 😉

  149. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    I’ll catch up with you on the new post 😉

  150. Morning again

    Theres a NEW POST

  151. nice blog ,thanks 🙂

  152. The Rebel (2006) motion picture is a person of my favorite that I watched so far. Loving the plot as well as the how the story takes location.

  153. Terry Brew says:

    No distance, no world, no time, no room, no galaxy, regardless of how far and broad it may well be that really like can develop and come across each other. Just like Jake and Neytiri in Avatar.

  154. James Daniel says:

    Totally agree i think that is just what we need.

  155. stabucks coffee

    May 1971 – A week in the life of a Veteran Gooner | Arsenal Arsenal

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